I love waterslides! However, I think I’ve become spoiled with all the fancy water parks like Hershey Park or Six Flag’s America. So when I saw the 100+ foot waterslide at a camp I was speaking at I was a little hesitant to ride. Why? Allow me to give you a description; a long ditch was cut into one of the many hillsides at the camp, thick white plastic was then placed carefully to line the inside of the ditch using old tires to hold the plastic into place. At the bottom of the hill was a fairly large pool lined with black plastic. Two hoses are placed at the top of the slide as water runs down filling the pool with about two feet of water. How do you stop? Good question…at the end of the pool a small slope was formed and the black plastic is draped completely over thereby creating a “buffer zone.” But…on the other side of the hill is a fairly steep drop into bushes, sticks, etc.
I mention this because as the counselors kicked off our water-slide event I quickly found out that the “buffer zone” won’t necessarily stop everyone. Bethany, one of the many awesome camp counselors you’ll ever meet was catapulted over the top of the “buffer zone” and…disappeared! At that moment I thought there was no way you’re getting me on that slide!
Bethany’s disappearance was brief as she crawled over the top and back into the pool. You see, I eventually found out there are tires on the other side keeping you from going into to bushes. But as I stood there watching everyone else ride the slide, another counselor reminded me of my words earlier and asked; “Are you going? You said you were going.” Teens have a way of keeping me accountable to things I say. My only reason for not going on the slide at that point was not hesitation, it was stubbornness. Stubborn because the water was really cold and I don’t like cold water. Eventually I took that first leap and rode the slide and enjoyed the whole event, bruised ribs and all.
But while I was being slightly stubborn with the water-slide, there are some that have become stubborn when it comes to sharing their faith. What do I mean? Here is what I call the “too-stubborn-to-share-your-faith” list.
- “I’m too busy.” – You’re too busy to save a life…for eternity? For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23. So…let me ask, are you too busy to tell your friends about Jesus. Are you too busy to share the free gift that you received?
- “I’m not very good at speaking.” – You mean to tell me you don’t have regular conversations with people throughout your day? In John 4 Jesus started a conversation with a Samaritan woman by asking for a glass of water (everyday conversation). One great resource that can help train you to bring up spiritual things can be found at Dare2Share; it’s called Soul Fuel.
- “I’m not an evangelist.” – True, it’s a gift, not everyone is called to be a Billy Graham or a Greg Stier, but everyone is called to share the gospel. The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20. We’re ALL called to do the work of an evangelist.
- “I don’t know any non-Christians.” – Do you live in a special segregated community where everyone is a believer? Jesus said “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 Your Samaria are those around you in everyday life; the checkout clerk at your local Wal-Mart, the guy that makes your coffee in the morning at your favorite coffee shop, your mechanic, the postman. All around us are people who need to hear the “clear” message of the gospel.
- “I’m afraid of rejection” – Join the club no one likes to be rejected! But once you get that first rejection it becomes easier to face. “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” – Luke 6:22 And in Luke 10:16; “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
There is no reason for anyone to be stubborn when it comes to sharing their faith. Sure…I’m being stubborn right now because I’m not in the mood to clean out the garage as we prepare to move. But I pray I never become stubborn when it comes to telling others about Jesus Christ and God’s amazing grace.
Now…what did I do with the packing tape?
What are some other ways you have seen or experienced yourself or a student struggling to share the gospel?