I wrote this in March 2015 on my old blog, Notes from Innisfree:
One excuse our pastor referred to was fear. Later I was reading from Ralph Keyes' book, The Courage to Write, and came upon these lines:
When we think of 'risk takers,' we usually think of wire walkers, mountain climbers, and sky divers...But death-defying risks aren't necessarily the hardest ones to take. During many years of interest in this subject, it's become clear to me that the risk most universally feared is that of looking foolish.
Most of us would rather risk our neck than our face. One way I discovered this was by asking a number of people whether they'd leap off a high dive that scared them or climb back down past a long line of those waiting on the ladder. Most said they'd leap.What we read and see in the media these days tells us that if we share our faith, we're going to look ridiculous. Nobody believes that stuff anymore, do they? In this scientific age? Look at how quickly Conservative politicians distanced themselves from their colleague Rick Nicholls when he dared to proclaim that he personally didn't believe in evolution. Honestly, it takes a lot more faith to believe in the latter, in my opinion. Just sayin'.
Then there is this passage from Scripture (1 Corinthians 3:18-20):
Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.
We really have to stop being fearful about how our story will be received. It is the Holy Spirit's work, not ours, to open the eyes of people. Our job is to be willing vessels to accomplish His work, to listen to His promptings and to understand that He will give us the right words at the right time (Luke 12:12, Luke 21:15, Colossians 4:5-6).The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.
When we withhold our stories because of the fear of rejection, we forget that any rejection we suffer is Christ's. We must not be ashamed of the gospel (Mark 8:38), for it is good news to people (1 Corinthians 1:18).
And really, how much do we have to hate someone not to share the truth with them?
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