Think of a TV show or a book that you really enjoyed. Did you tell anyone about it? Can you recall enthusiastically describing it to a friend and urging them to try it out, to enjoy it the same way you did? What about a restaurant you loved or your favorite shoes or a company that did great work on your home?
For the most part, we are anxious to share the best things with our friends and neighbors. We love to pass on the parts of life that we enjoy the most, and to watch as those we care about get the same enjoyment. Perhaps we also like getting the “credit” for bringing something new and helpful or fun into the lives of those around us! Yet when it comes to sharing our faith– even though it is the cornerstone of most of our lives– many of us are reluctant or hesitant to share. Why is that?
It’s true that “evangelism” has gotten a bad name in years past, and that many people and groups have been so agressive about sharing their faith (even forcing their faith on others or coercing others to participate) that some of us are wary of getting grouped into the same camp as those Christians. For many of us, also, as important as faith is in our lives, it is also a deeply personal experience and difficult to talk about candidly and casually. But for most of us, it is also one of the best parts of our lives, the place where we find healing, forgiveness, comfort, strength, and power. Of course we want those we love and care about to experience all of those things. So how do we share our faith in a way we are comfortable with and that isn’t agressive or harmful to others?
As usual, the apostle Paul knows a good place to start. This Sunday in The Bridge, we will read about his kind of “faith-sharing,” which he wrote to the Thessalonians about in one of the oldest letters of the New Testament. Join us this Sunday in The Bridge, both to reflect on and give thanks for all that we have been given in our faith, and also to learn how we can share it with those we care about in gentleness and love.