By Hannah Ritter
One of the scariest times for me in high school was the first day of school at lunch. Every year of high school I went to a different school, so every year on the first day I had to find a table to sit with. I remember vividly walking into each cafeteria, nervously looking around and then having to say those terrifying five words “Can I sit with you?”. I was shy and scared of approaching others, so you can imagine how difficult it was for me to become a disciple and then share my faith with STRANGERS. How can I be bold for God when I’m scared of others?
What does it look like to be bold for God? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as my chronological Bible plan has brought me to the Acts of the Apostles. Being bold for God may look different for many of us, and it may be more or less challenging depending on our own past experiences, but it all comes from the same heart and motivation.
Maybe a better question is, what is holding you back from being bold for God? One of the most challenging aspects of talking to my family, coworkers, cashiers, neighbors and friends about God is being worried about how they will perceive me. It brings me back to my high school days of trying desperately to just blend in. This makes me think of some verses in John 12 that say “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”
When I am feeling fearful of sharing my faith or doing something bold for God my biggest concern is usually me. I am worried that the stranger/coworker/family member will think that I’m strange, not normal, and a weird Bible peddler. In those moments I’ve forgotten what this is all about. I need to be brought back to the reality of who God is. Going through the Isaiah series has been helping bring my eyes upward to refocus on what is truly important (Colossians 3:1-4). Reading the Bible helps me to see that I serve an Awesome, Powerful, Incredible God. Books like Psalms (especially 18, 19, 63 and 77) help me to see that people should not be my main concern, glorifying God should be my main concern!
Once I’ve remembered the God that I have the honor and privilege of serving every day then I need to remember one other thing – why I chose to follow God in the first place. When I bask in God’s grace and remember that He saved me from the sin that so easily entangles me and has allowed me to be a new creation then I am eager and excited to share that gift with others (Hebrews 12:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17). I then look for opportunities to share this, I am no longer fearful of sharing my faith, I am looking forward to it! God is so powerful, He allows us to be forgiven (Acts 2:38) and to live for Him but that’s not all – He also entrusts us with His Word and lets us share it with others (1 Thessalonians 2:4)! God is gracious and willing to grant our requests – let’s start praying for boldness (Acts 4:23-31)! We can all be daily grateful that someone opened their mouth and told us about God and because of that gratitude do the same for someone else (Titus 2:11-12).