Friday, November 16, 2012

Sharing







As a Christian woman, one of my biggest downfalls is sharing. Get me in a group of other believers and I will talk your ear off and sing at the top of my lungs but in a group of people who don't believe, or worse, people that I have no idea what they believe, and I tense up. 

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." -Mark 16:15

So the gospel commands us to preach it, and make disciples of all nations but why does it feel like the hardest thing to do? I lead a small group of women, Jon and I continuously have awesome dialogue, and I can write about my faith experiences here in my blog but at a place like work? Forget about it. I work in software with a bunch of men so it's not surprising that the mushy subject of faith or religion doesn't come up often. I feel like I try but get so nervous when I am shut down. For example, last week two guys were talking about Romney and Mormonism and their thoughts on it and I chimed in with someone about being a Christ follower and was sad that neither of them asked me further about it. If someone mentions a landmark in Austin that is right by my church, I mention that we go to church over there, with the hopes of someone asking. Now I don't want you to think for a second I want people to focus on ME and what I believe and MY faith...I just want to share God's word! I want to be able to chat with coworkers about scripture, talk about the bible with friends over drinks, pray with my extended family. It's for God's glory, not my own. 

Here I am professing that Jesus Christ is the center of my world but He's not. We strive to put Him at the center of our marriage and in certain relationships but I put up a wall with others. I think I am just plain scared of being rejected or scared to be judged. God how can I glorify you without coming off as overbearing or like one of those crazy bible beaters? Especially to non believers. 

I doubt I am in this along, right? Do you struggle with this too?
  
My current prayers include asking God to give me the confidence to be His daughter in every area of my life. I don't need to stand in the breakroom on a barstool reading out of the book of John at lunch, but I need to be serving Him everywhere and all the time. I need to stop being nervous to pray with Jon at dinner with friends. Stop being nervous to ask my family members what they believe and why. And stop getting so anxious about pleasing others and focus on pleasing the Lord. 

I am alive to make Him known. 


Photobucket

21 comments:

Karla said...

As someone who struggles with this as well... I love the line where you say, "God how can I glorify you without coming off as overbearing or like one of those crazy bible beaters?" Because that's the stereotype that I am afraid of getting. Like you said, it's sometimes even hard to say grace before eating when you have company over.

This is something I've struggled with for a while and it makes me feel ashamed that I'm worried about being stereotyped...if that makes sense. I'm sometimes afraid to mention my beliefs on my blog for fear of rejection.

I really enjoy reading your blog. Very inspiring. Makes me feel like I'm not alone. Thanks for this post. =)

Stesha Jordan said...

I really enjoyed reading this, I know you are strong and you will be able to overcome these fears and reach your goals! Happy Friday!

xxS

Stesha Jordan said...

I really enjoyed reading this, I know you are strong and you will be able to overcome these fears and reach your goals! Happy Friday!

xxS

{[Jessica]} said...

beautiful! You are strong!! You will over come your fears :) cant wait to share in your journey of when that moment comes!!

KrystennMarie said...

I really love coming to your blog and reading these posts. You are truly an inspiration.

I used to struggle with sharing as well, because I'm the only Christ follower in my household. My family supports my belief, but at the same time it's rather difficult because I have no one in my family to turn to when I have questions.

You are such a strong woman, and I believe that you will find a way to overcome this obstacle and I can not wait to see how it happens.

Kerry said...

New reader over here! This was really interesting to read. I live in a place where it is very acceptable to NOT have a faith, to share your opinions loudly and without warrant cause, and to mock any type of religion. i'm also in the entertainment industry where the most common religion i hear is that of atheist or agnostic. yet i find that when i quietly admit to going to church or praying or that i was raised catholic, there is no big outlash against me. there is an immediate acceptance of 'cool, that works for you'. that being said, i do often keep these things to myself. thanks for sharing and getting my mind thinking about this, xo

Krista said...

Oh girl, I totally relate to where you're coming from! I struggle with the same thing. I hesitate to even bring up the subject because I feel like I won't be able to "defend" Jesus effectively. I pray we all receive the strength to overcome these fears!

Thank you for posting!

Brooke Houston said...

Work is a really tough place to talk about beliefs. I definitely feel like I'm being judged. But I also don't feel confident enough because I'm so new and don't have the knowledge yet. I pray that I can learn and feel comfortable sharing how I feel, even if it's with a group of friends. Small group has given me that burst of support, which is helping tremendously!

Claire-Christine said...

And the people said....AMEN! Praying for courage!

GingerPeachT said...

no you are totally not alone with this!
I think the reason why I don't speak up with strangers on little tidbits about Christ, is the fact I just don't want to get into a conflict with them. So I just smile and make peaceful talk lol same with the last election. ugggghhh lol
But at the same time I guess if I don't say anything at all, then I'm going nowhere. So i struggle with this a lot.
Oh, and the fact about 99% of my friends are christians, however since we've moved I've met a couple new friends who aren't christians and its a good thing for me to branch out. :-) Does that make sense? I'm sorta all over the place today ha

Jessie said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I've been going through the same thing! I'll be praying for you.

Rachel said...

I totally know how you feel; you have good news, the GREATEST news of all time, that a dying world desperately needs to hear, but somewhere in the rejoicing chambers of your heart to the tip of your tongue that news gets lost. I think we must remember when sharing with others about Jesus it's a win-win-win situation. If they reject us and ridicule us, it's a WIN: Matthew 5:11-12 "Blessed are those who insult you...because of Me...rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven." If the listen, but don't respond to God's call right then, the seed has still been planted, that's a WIN. Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty." And if the person receives your good news and makes Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior, that's a DEFINITE WIN! Luke 15:10 "There's rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one repentant sinner." It IS hard at times and we are tempted to not speak, but we must remember that we cannot lose! I say WE because I need to hear this too:) A really good book to read, that's helped me, is called "The One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven." The one thing we can't do in heaven is tell people who don't know Jesus, about Him. We must do that here! I hope that help you in some small way:)

Chelsea said...

You are not alone! But I know for ME that most of the time the awkwardness of talking about faith is in my head. I've been praying for boldness to share but also the wisdom to know how to approach people who are at different stages of life/belief. I've seen the most genuine interest when I share how God is moving in and changing my life because they see that God isn't just an idea- He is real and active in His children's lives!

themosbysinchina said...

Your so beautiful Ruthie. Love these pics and love your heart. Beautiful inside and out. :) Praying for courage. I struggle with this too. With Chinese people I don't care at all. We're foreign in every way and stared at all the time.. It just doesn't matter to me with them. I feel at home talking to non-believing Chinese friends. I think because I know they don't have the same baggage and judgement as foreigners. I also know they haven't been hurt or had horrible experiences with the "church." They are a fresh slate and hungry for purpose. But as soon as we get around other foreigners, especially "cool" ones, I think waaaay too much about what they think or feel! Even when I've been praying for them so much! I forget that it's God that prepares hearts and minds.. I have to remember that God is in control. And all we can do is be obedient to Jesus and trust God with their opinions and hearts. It's so easy to forget in the midst of the "fear of man" or awkwardness. He's given us a spirit of confidence though, not fear! Also, I think it's important to walk in the Holy Spirit. So we can trust him to lead our words. GOd knows the heart of man. Thanks for posting. It's good to reflect/ think about these things and surrender them to the Lord once more. Love you sister!

Liz Brown said...

I guess everyone probably struggles this way at some point. I eventually got to the point where it didn't matter to me how people end up viewing me. I want to be sensitive, "all things to all men", but I don't want to water down my witness. I've found that comes with a certain amount of people thinking I'm weird :D

Adrienne said...

You are so not alone in this Ruthie. Honestly, since I began reading your blog I've been so impressed with your ability to talk about your beliefs and how open you are about it. I would think, "boy I wish I could be like that." So to read this actually makes me feel a little better, (in the fact that I am not alone.)

I think the reason I have a hard time with people I don't know that well, (or that I'm not sure of their beliefs) is because I don't ever want to come across as preachy or talking down at someone. I think sometimes our actions can make more of an impression than our words. My husband isn't a big talker when it comes to his beliefs. But when it comes to our family, friends and neighbors, he is the most generous and Christian like person I know. He is so kind and helpful to everyone. I like to think people who see that, see God working through him.....I strive (and fail miserably) to be like him. Thanks for this post :)

Kel kel said...

This is an interesting post. I think you shouldn't be so hard on yourself and expectations of others.

My preacher recently spoke on evangelism, and he said to lead with God, and then progressively try to drive the conversation towards Christ. Many people believe in God, but many struggle specifically with Christ.

It's a touchy subject, but it is refreshing to see it presented here. I really enjoy your blog. : )

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

I once heard that all it takes is to plant the seed. Even though you don't go into detail or are nervous about what has been said or how you feel, sometimes just a few words make people think later.

Amanda said...

I love these posts that you're so honest. Email me because I have an idea for you :)

Amanda aka Manda said...

This post hit my heart! I am the exact same way. I will talk about Christ and my faith on my blog or to anyone outside of work that will listen, but when it comes to work, I don't mention it. I pray God gives me a better voice and settles my self-conscious fears!

Lauren Kahre said...

First off, I love that you're from Austin (I'm from San Antonio, but went to college in San Marcos). This is probably not going to be a popular comment, since others on here are clearly Christians, but I thought I would provide some insight from the other side. One of my dearest friends and bridesmaids is a very devout Christian, as is her family, while I am agnostic. They are some of my favorite people because they don't question my beliefs, or pressure me in any way to believe what they do. I respect their faith, and they respect mine, which actually enables us to have wonderful conversations about theology without the judgement component. All you can do is lay out what you believe, and if other people don't "bite" so to speak, it's important to respect that and allow that person to believe what they want. My favorite Christians in my life are those that don't have to always be shouting from the mountaintops about their faith, I can just see how happy they are from how they live their lives. It's actually been my experience that those people that are the most vocal and "in your face" about their religion (any religion) are usually not the most "faithful" and don't actually truly follow their religion. Next time you mention your faith, allow the other person to react, and if they don't, then they're probably not the best person to have a conversation with. I'm sure you will get someone eventually who shares your passion. Just please be careful about this at work, I know that for me it becomes awkward if someone tries to talk to me about religion at school/work, and i'm sure you don't want to have bad relations with your co-workers. Best of Luck!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...