Have you ever considered what might be stopping you from witnessing more? Especially considering we live in the USA, where we are free to share our faith? Here are some of the reasons I came up with:
We are too busy
We are too distracted
It is not a priority
We don’t feel like we know enough to tell others about Christ
Even though we might not witness much or feel like we cannot, most of us understand that the Great Commission is for all Christians:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV)
Though many of us could name the above reasons for not witnessing more, and hopefully feel concerned about growing in this area, I would like us to consider another more subtle reason. It may be THE main reason in the 21st Century, because our world is filled with so many hurt people. Maybe it is a reason that many of us have not considered because Satan loves to work in subtle, less recognized ways to diminish Kingdom-building.
That reason is this: Many Christians are so weakened and hurting from soul wounds and broken hearts, that they just don’t have the capacity or the will to share their faith.
As Christians, we are warned that we will be persecuted. But sometimes damaged souls (hurt Christians) can’t handle the persecution of the world. If someone rejects us for our stand for Christ (persecution), it reminds us of past hurts and rejection that already exists in our soul, causing a strong reaction of fear. It is hard then to “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10, NKJV), if we have not allowed the Lord to heal our hurts and soul damage. And if we aren’t healed and whole, it is even more difficult to stand for Christ in the midst of a dying and lost world. Past rejection makes us fear that if we witness for Christ we might be rejected again. People that might disagree with our witness for Christ can trigger painful reactions from soul wounds previously sustained and not healed. Many conclude, either consciously or subconsciously, that this pain is too hard to handle—so they just avoid witnessing altogether. As a result, the enemy is successful at stopping the spread of the Gospel because of Christians’ wounded souls.
Let’s be honest, it isn’t easy to stand alone when we are attacked for our faith. And if we are already wounded by past rejection, it’s even harder. In these hurtful situations, we are never just dealing with people, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12, KJV). Satan lies to us and tells us we must have the acceptance and praise of men and women to feel loved and accepted, instead of being fulfilled with the acceptance and love of the Lord that should make us secure. Instead of believing those lies, we must recognize when our soul is under attack to prevent others from knowing Christ through our witness, and be able to fight back from a position of strength and wholeness. Once we are secure in that position of healing and wholeness, we can experience the fruit described in Proverbs 11:30:
The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men—he gathers and receives them for eternity].(AMPC)
Instead of being a hurt person who hurts others by hiding the Gospel, we become a healed person through whom Christ can heal others. This is done first by having the courage to introduce them to the Gospel and their need for salvation through Christ, and then teaching them how to receive healing and freedom in their wounded souls and hearts. They can then become true and effective disciples of Christ through your help and example.
I am convinced that when Satan came up with a plan to wound people through dysfunctional homes, schools, and churches, a big part of his agenda was to keep wounded Christians silent about the Gospel. Silent because they are trying to prevent more rejection. When we understand and feel that we are accepted in Christ, the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), and loved by Him, then we can be strong and confident in ourselves and our faith, no matter who rejects us for it. We are therefore more willing to witness even though we understand some will not receive the truth. Such rejection of the Gospel does not define us, nor does it need to make us feel rejected or prevent us from witnessing. We can come to a place of understanding that whoever may reject the Gospel needs to receive more enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. And therefore we don’t take it personally if they don’t receive what we are saying, and we certainly don’t have to feel rejected. We can walk away praying for that person, and that the seed planted will be watered and nurtured by someone else. We can feel satisfied we were obedient to witness for Christ, and therefore not feel rejected or have a sense of failure.
In Matthew 10:33 (AMP), Jesus said, “But the one who denies and rejects Me before men, that one I will also deny and reject before My Father who is in heaven.” When others reject us for our stand for Christ, we should view this as persecution, which we are supposed to expect when we witness to others for Christ. We should conclude we would rather be rejected by men, than by the Lord.
We are beginning to experience in the United States, the persecution that so many have endured down through the ages and currently experience in other parts of the world. People who are healed in their souls will not only be able to overcome the enemy, but they will be able to stand and share the Gospel regardless of the persecution that feels like rejection from non-believers. When we successfully stand and share the Gospel, we should not only feel good about our witness but we should also feel blessed:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12, NKJV)
If you are saved and you are afraid to tell others about your faith, you may not be free of the hurts and wounds in your soul caused by the rejection of others. If so, you probably haven’t been able to get up the courage to fulfill the Great Commission, and you may not be praying for opportunities to witness. Now you may know why. And Jesus has made a way for you to receive the healing of your soul wounds. It’s what he came to do, as he announced in Luke 4:18-19.
Do you refrain from spreading the Gospel because you fear you will be rejected? If so, it is time to seek healing for your soul, so that you can confidently fulfill the Great Commission and share your faith in Christ with a lost and dying world.
Dr. Connie Borden is the co-founder of Totally Transformed Ministries. You can follow her on Twitter @drconnieborden or email her here.