Sharing about our interests and passions takes nothing at all, and we’re eager to spill the details to anyone who’s within earshot.
But the things of God? That’s something we like to dance around.
Sure, we can talk about the nuances of last night’s game, new training methods to better carve our muscles, or a new offense we want to try. There’s no hesitation to dig in when it comes to our teams, but how about when it gets personal?
As athletes, we can often find ourselves in the locker room where sudden opportunities come up to share what we believe.
As coaches, there are times where someone on our staff notices the way we run our teams is different than what they’ve experienced and want to know why.
What will we do in these moments when we’re compelled to reach out to a fellow coach or teammate, but there seems to be a lump in our throat and sweat on our palms?
Fear can often stall us from stepping into what God has for us. But fear is a faceless fraud.
Yes, our fears are valid. But God also commands us to not be afraid, a concept so important to Him that He shares it over 350 times in the Bible!
Here are four fears that keep us from sharing our faith, and four truths from God’s Word to dispel them:
Fear #1: What Will People Think?
Our greatest hesitations come from wondering what others will think of us and how they will react. It’s a vulnerability to share such a personal message and can often feel like it’s a personal jab if met with resistance. Rejection stings, and we often fear taking a risk because we are afraid of how others will take it.
Truth: For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. - 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
God enables us by His Spirit to live empowered and face each day with faith, love, and patience. When you feel afraid, remember Who is within you, prompting you to speak, and giving you courage to do so. It is better to focus on how we are pleasing the LORD rather than fellow humans.
Fear #2: What If I Say Something Wrong?
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to say the right thing and get it all perfect. After all, someone’s salvation hangs in the balance depending on what we say, right? (Not so.) We tend to put unneeded pressure on ourselves and don’t want to mess it up in case our message is misunderstood, or we give them wrong information.
Truth: … don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. - Mark 13:11 NLT
It isn’t up to us to bring people to salvation. God, by His Holy Spirit, prepares and turns hearts towards Him and will use any and every conversation for His great purposes. When you feel yourself wondering if what you say even makes sense, remember: it is the Holy Spirit gives you words and will speak through you.
Click The Four to learn how to share the Gospel in a clear and simple way
Fear #3: What If I Stumble While People Are Watching?
We all slip and stumble. It’s part of walking through this world. We will always have trouble, and we are human. Jesus told us we would run into trouble, and sometimes, we fall into it on our own. When we sin, when we say or do something that doesn’t reflect God’s goodness, we fear it will turn people away.
Truth: The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
- Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT
New mercies are fresh every morning, saturated with grace and an opportunity to confess our sins, shift back to God and begin again. Grace covers all.
There is nothing that cannot be redeemed. We are all prone to mistakes and in need of a Savior who knows our struggles could be even greater opportunities to showcase His mercy. Jesus said to take heart, because He has overcome the world. You can rest that He has you covered and if you’re honest about where you’ve been, people will see God reflected in your story.
Fear # 4: How Do I Share What I Believe?
Often, we think of sharing our faith and are paralyzed by the message. How do I verbalize what Jesus means to me? How can I say it in a way that makes sense and people aren’t offended? It’s too important for me to handle on my own. Sometimes, we’re so unsure of where to start, that we never begin.
Truth: So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. – 1 Peter 3:14-15 NLT
It’s easier than you think. Live your life in a manner that’s pleasing to God, joyfully and obediently walking alongside Him. Remember where He has brought you, how He has shown up in your life. And share that journey, your own story, with the people around you. Be ready and on the lookout for chances to say why your life is different and Who has made it that way.
No matter what fears may have plagued you in the past, with God’s truth firmly established in your heart, faith always overcomes and grants courage.
Verses to Encourage You:
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. – 1 John 4:18 NLT
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9 NLT
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears. - Psalm 34:4 NLT
“For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’” - Isaiah 41:13 NLT
Want to read more about sharing your faith? Check out these other FCA articles:
The Great Call to Share Your Faith
It’s a bold and daring invitation: step out of our comfort zone and share the most important message anyone could ever hear. Read now.
Be Yourself and Other Ways To Share Your Faith
Want to take the pressure off sharing your faith? Gain some helpful tips that keep the conversation going. Read now.