April 01, 2020 | Witness | Emotions | Counseling by Mike Greene
We have certainly had a great deal to be concerned about lately, and rightfully so. No doubt that you will hear and read many things about how to deal with your physical, emotional and spiritual health in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Don’t forget that the Bible speaks to all these things and it should be your primary source for help. However, there is a question that I seldom see in the barrage of social media and electronic communications that we are depending on so much these days: Can sharing your faith make you feel better? If you are in Christ, the Lord has commanded you to share the gospel with others, and bringing glory to Him must always be our primary motivation for personal evangelism; but there might be a secondary benefit that you may not have thought about. During these times of trouble, can sharing your faith with others make you feel better? Let’s explore two possible answers.
First, we generally do better when we are busy doing what God created us to do. First and foremost, we are created to worship God. But what does that look like in more practical terms? There are three overarching commands in Scripture – followers of Christ are commanded to love God, to love people and to make disciples. Ever wonder why God left you here after He saved you? Well, there’s your answer! Sharing the hope you have in Christ is the greatest love you can show to another person. Sharing your faith shows love to God because it is an act of obedience. Sharing the gospel is the first step in making a disciple. We tend to feel better when we are focused on what God has called us to do, and less focused on the troubles of the world.
Secondly, we tend to feel better when our focus is on others. Philippians 2 reminds us that being Christ-like and looking out for others are one and the same. In our humanity, we are prone to fear and worry and anxiety and depression. We call these “problematic emotions.” When these emotions become a pattern in our lives, a common trait is excessive self-focus. While it is not the cure in itself, being intentional about serving someone else usually makes us feel better. Sharing the love of Christ and the hope of the gospel with someone else is a great way to turn our focus from inward to outward.
Perhaps you are nervous about sharing your faith or you don’t know how. You are not the only one. Perhaps the crises we are facing these days have distracted you from personal evangelism. The answer is, start now. Be intentional. The first step is always prayer. Be very specific in your prayers. The Father will answer prayers that glorify His Son. Ask someone to do it with you, perhaps someone in your Life Group or your family. It has never been said that sharing the gospel is something you have to do by yourself. Consult with one of our pastors, ministry leaders, Life Group leaders or counselors; they will be glad to help you. Make use of the many materials and training for evangelism that our church provides. And finally, keep up with your spiritual disciplines so that you are always prepared “to give an account for the hope that is in you…”
You may have guessed by now that this is really not so much about how you feel. However, being obedient to God’s calling and being intentional about caring for others will make our problems less intimidating. Consider this, how many people do you know who are facing today’s crises without hope?