I believe in living out your faith and convictions. I try by my example to show people what I stand for and what I believe. And truth be told, I’m a pretty outspoken person in real life. I have an opinion about just about everything and most of the time I’m pretty okay sharing it with you (whether you really want to hear it or not). But I have a little confession to make. When it comes right down to it…I’m a chicken about coming right out and sharing the gospel. I can tell you where I stand on birth control, abortion, politics and how I think you should solve whatever problem you’re having in your life. But put me in a situation where I need to share the gospel, something so integral to my life (and my opinions), and I fumble around like an idiot. I’m fearful because I may not have every answer you need to hear, I’m fearful because what if I say the wrong thing and turn you off from God forever, I’m fearful because I’m completely inadequate. It’s weak I know, it’s lame, I know and it’s completely wrong. While my actions may speak of my faith, if I don’t actually share my faith with someone…they may get the wrong idea…that I’m a “good person”. But I’m not, I am able to be and do what I do because God gives me the gifts and the strength I need.
My eldest son is very non-confrontational. He’s a firstborn in every sense of the word EXCEPT he’s not really the most assertive kid around. He wants to be “perfect” and works really hard to please those around him. He likes to be bossy and in charge, but really isn’t a “grab a challenge head on” kind of guy.
Last night we were out for dinner with a family member “P”. We have had a difficult relationship lately, but we all love “P” and Gabe has a tremendous amount of respect for P. We agreed to meet for dinner as a step of faith and forgiveness. During the course of our meal the boys had good conversation and interaction with P. Towards the end of the meal Gabe leans over to P and says “Do you know how to be a Christian?” P says “yeah I do”. Gabe responds “Well I’m going to tell you anyway because won’t it be wonderful to be in heaven when we die and to know God?!?” He continues “You need to believe that Jesus is the son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins. You have to confess your sins to Him. You also have to believe that Jesus died and then rose again 3 days later.” P is getting a little uncomfortable, but listens politely simply saying “yeah”. Gabe then tells P “You should read your Bible. A good place to start is reading the Proverb of the day. There are 31 Proverbs and whatever day you’re on is the day you should read…there’s a lot of wisdom in the Proverbs…or you could read Psalms. There’s more than 31 of those, but you should still read them.” P just says “thanks.” and the goes on with another conversation with one of our other boys.
Now I don’t know about you, but if I had tried to share the gospel with someone and got a cool response like that I would have been kind of bummed and really maybe even a little embarrassed with myself. But not Gabe. He just went on like nothing had happened or like the response hadn’t even phased him, like it was an everyday occurrence to share his faith with those around him. He even talked later in the car with Otto about when he wasn’t a believer (when he was 4) and what that was like. Gabe was so willing and so matter of fact about what he was saying I was amazed. He was so bold in sharing about God and what it means to have faith in God. It was so uncharacteristic for my oldest son to be bold about it and to continue pressing on until the message was out and he was sure P had heard it.
I would like to take all the credit truthfully. I’d like to say “yep…it’s because we raise him in such a Godly home or because we live the gospel in our house” But it has nothing to do with me. Sure we make sure he goes to church each week and that he has a good Biblical foundation but you know what…I have nothing to do with making him bold for Christ. I have nothing to do with how God chose to use him yesterday. It was totally a God thing. I don’t know today the impact that Gabe’s witness had on P and I may never know for years or even until I get to eternity. But I am thankful for the grace and mercy God has shown and I am thankful that He used my totally un-bold son to share His message.
Oh to be like a child.