Why should I talk about my faith at school? How can I get over fears about sharing my faith?
Because Jesus says to talk about our faith everywhere! Yeah, even in gym class if the opportunity comes up. ;-) There are lots of reasons why followers of Jesus should want to share their faith wherever they go—including classrooms and school in general.
As Christian students, we have to make a commitment to respect our teachers and the school staff, devote our attention and efforts to them during school hours, and do the best we can in our classwork. To be a really good example of what a Christian really is, we must first follow through with this commitment. So standing on your desk to preach the gospel during math class is kind of out of the question. Sorry!
Why? Because evangelistic efforts shouldn't get in the way with all the things we are committed to do (1 Thessalonians 5:12-14). If they do, then our actions won't line up with our words and the credibility of our witness is gone. So, you should be super excited about being the best student your teachers have ever had (Colossians 3:23)! Also strive to be the best classmate your peers could have in class. By doing so, you'll add some credibility to your words later on when you do share your faith.
There are a ton of great reasons to share our faith as Christians, but here are three of the most important ones:
- Jesus says so! In His last moments on earth with His disciples, Christ could have said anything at all. What did He choose to say? "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." He wanted others to come to know the saving power and awesome relationship with Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).
- Duty demands it! If we have been redeemed by Christ, then we have been given something that we never really deserved in the first place. Without God's grace, we would be lost forever and ever. Remember, you were once lost too. Chances are most of us came to faith and salvation because someone shared with us—parents, a friend, a teacher, a neighbor, etc. How can we not do the same for others? Jesus said that as we have freely received, we should freely give (Matthew 10:8). God has entrusted us to be His messengers to the lost (Acts 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:4). Why not pay it forward?
- Gratitude leads to giving God the glory. A true follower of Christ is thankful for His presence in his or her life and is eager to share His glory with others. An attitude of true gratitude is one of the things that marks a real Christian and drives him or her to share this amazing thing that has happened. The more we honestly examine our own sinful hearts, the more we recognize how great God's forgiveness is, and the more we are thankful for our redemption. Our words should give Him all the credit for what He has done for us—all the great stuff we could not do for ourselves. In turn, we should tell others of His great love and mercy too!
How can I get over fears about sharing my faith at school?
It can be scary to talk about your faith, especially when it's hard to tell what people believe or how they will react. With God's help, you can talk to anyone about your faith. Ask Him to give you opportunities, and He will steer you toward people whom He has prepared to hear about Him. So how do we go about talking about God in our classes, cafeterias, and bleachers?
The Easy Part
You've probably heard the cliché that actions speak louder than words. Well, it's very true in the Christian life! Your "quiet" testimony is you being a loyal and faithful student, not bad-mouthing teachers or classmates, and being kind and fair no matter what—even when kids are being bullies.
No one knows a perfect teacher or can be a perfect classmate, but Colossians 3:23 gives us a picture of a Christlike attitude we can aim for: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." By having this attitude, you will honor God by doing all things for Him, the only truly perfect Teacher.
The Get-Noticed Part
When you are doing everything with God in mind, your ability to handle in-class stress and treat others with kindness and patience will make you stand out among your classmates. When others notice your attitude (which will probably be different than the average person), they will not be able to help but comment on it. If they comment on it to you, then you have been given the opportunity to explain who you really serve and how He has impacted your life. Make sure you "walk the walk" in order to get the opportunity to "talk the talk."
The Talking Part
When the doors do open to share your faith, be ready to share it! First Peter 3:15 says to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." This means being familiar with the Bible (that means Bible study) and being tuned in to the Holy Spirit so He can put the right words in your mouth.
If you "let the Word of God dwell in [you] richly in all wisdom" (Colossians 3:16), you will always be ready when an opportunity comes up to share your faith. Remember to pray for God to open up doors to share Christ with others and make "divine appointments" with people whose hearts are ready to receive God's truth from us.
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