Have you ever felt uncomfortable talking about your faith with other people? Maybe you tell yourself your religious beliefs are too heavy to discuss with friends or perhaps you feel you’ve been too much of a “sinner” to talk about your faith, or it could be you think people will think you’re trying to convert them on the spot if you mention your beliefs. You don’t want to be pushy. You don’t want to force it.
I used to feel ALL of these emotions when presented with opportunities to talk about my faith in Jesus with friends and acquaintances; a little voice in my head would say, “They’re going to think you’re an uptight religious freak. Bringing up your faith will only make things awkward.” For a long time, I let that little voice drown out Jesus when these situations presented themselves.
I think this happens to a lot of Christians. We let our insecurity and pride inhibit us from sharing the good news with the people in our lives. I often wonder: How many Christians would change their behavior in these scenarios if they REALLY believed that God had placed specific people in their lives for a reason?
I didn’t realize this until my final semester of college. I found a roommate who I had never met through mutual friends. We had been living together for a couple of months and had become friends, but we still didn’t know each other very well. She had transferred from another school, was taking micro AND macro-economics that semester and was majorly stressed – who wouldn’t be with that schedule!? I felt anxiety FOR her as I observed her constant workload.
One day after finishing my daily devotional reading and morning prayers, I felt a nudge in my heart to give my roommate my devotional book. The little voice in my head immediately snapped, “DON’T even think about it. You guys barely know each other – she’ll think you’re a weirdo.” So I dropped the thought and went about my day. But as the hours passed, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I felt it was God giving me that nudge to offer her my devotional book. Now it was MY voice arguing. “But God, what if she gets offended? What if it becomes so uncomfortable that we can’t even be in the same room together? What then?”
But the nudge wouldn’t go away. After a few days of praying about it, I said to God, “Okay FINE. If it is YOU who wants me to give her this devotional book, I pray that you’ll present an opportunity for me to do it, EVEN IF I run the risk of her thinking I’m a total freak.”
A few days later, my roommate and I were standing in the kitchen when she started telling me how stressed she was about an upcoming test. The timing was perfect.
I took a deep breath, said a silent prayer, and then said something along the lines of, “You know, I used to have major issues with stress, but one of my best friends gave me a daily devotional last summer and it’s totally changed my life. I have never had more peace now that I start my day reading it and taking time to pray. It may not be your thing, but I’d love to give it to you – it may help you.” To my relief, she couldn’t have been more gracious and appreciative.
A couple of weeks later, she told me she had felt for a while she had somewhat fallen away from her Christian upbringing, and that the devotional I had given her was already helping her to feel more peace and connection with God. Not only that, but she had been taking a screenshot on her phone of each reading every single day and sending it to her best friend, who had also been struggling with anxiety.
She said: “We’re both hooked. Some days I will accidentally forget to send my friend the picture, and she’ll text me begging for it!”
I was absolutely stunned – I never anticipated that outcome. That instance was the first time God taught me never to underestimate His mysterious ways. He is working behind the scenes in every single person’s life. As Christians, it’s up to us to humble ourselves and to offer ourselves as servants to carry out His perfect, miraculous and incomprehensible plans.
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:13-14)