He said to me: Human one, listen closely, and take to heart every word I say to you. Then go to the exiles, to your people’s children. Whether they listen or not, speak to them and say: The LORD God proclaims!
Most Christians know that they should be sharing their faith with others, that this is part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. But, most Christians feel very uneasy about this duty. Many, if not most, rarely share their faith with others. Some refrain because they don’t want to look foolish in the eyes of their co-workers. Others hold back because they don’t want to offend anyone. In my experience as a pastor, I’ve found that many strong believers choose not to share their faith because their afraid they won’t do it right. They fear they’ll mess up the message or be unable to answer unexpected questions, so they don’t talk about it.
If you can relate to what I’ve just said, if you’re someone who keeps the lid on our faith because you’re afraid of what might happen if you talked about it, then you’ll be encouraged and challenged by Ezekiel 3:10-11. In this passage, the Lord told Ezekiel to take his word to heart and then to share it with the Jewish exiles in Babylon, where Ezekiel was himself an exile. God told him to speak, “whether they listen or not” (3:11). In other words, Ezekiel’s calling was to be faithful, not successful.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with success, whether in life or in serving the Lord. But our chief calling as God’s people is to be faithful to him, to serve him with excellence, to obey him wholeheartedly. If God chooses to bless our efforts with success, that’s great. But many times we cannot guarantee success. We can choose to be faithful, however, to do as well as we can that which God has set before us.
So, when it comes to sharing your faith with others, your job is similar to that of Ezekiel. You are to take to heart God’s Word and then share it with others as truthfully and honestly as you can. To be sure, you should do so in ways that are appropriate and respectful. Yet, you do not have to worry about whether or not you will succeed. That’s God’s business. Yours is to be faithful.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How do you feel about sharing your faith with others? What do you find uncomfortable about this? What encourages you to be honest with others about your faith? What would it mean for you to be faithful as a witness to Christ?
Yet, sometimes I am hesitant to speak of you, Lord. Forgive me for my fear of how people will react if I share with them how much you mean to me. Help me, Lord, to be faithful as your witness. Help me not to worry if people do not accept what I have to say. Give me wisdom and sensitivity, so that I might speak in a way that honors you, both in the message and in the delivery.
In all things, Lord, may I be found faithful. To you be all the glory. Amen.