Breaking Down the Barriers
Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 1:3-8
God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
“I just know it,” Tyler erupted. “If I say anything about Jesus to my friends, I’m going to be an instant reject. Last year a friend of mine from church started witnessing to the guys on the soccer team. By the time they got done making fun of him, I practically had to peel his lips off the floor.”
No one likes to get mocked. But for each of God’s commands to communicate the good news about Christ, Christians cook up excuses to not get involved in God’s rescue mission. Here are four big ones:
- “I’m not capable.” Feel that way? Check out Ephesians 2:10, which calls you “God’s masterpiece.” God has given you special abilities, talents, and gifts. He’s made you a new person in Christ and equipped you for what he wants you to do. He also has good works lined up for you. Boldly step out and do what God has made you capable of doing.
- “I’m not living a very good Christian life.” If you've become tangled in sin, realize that God wants to set you free. He has everything you need to enjoy a rich, Spirit-filled life. Confess your sin and let the Spirit lead you daily. You don’t have to be perfect to be a liberator, but you do have to start letting God remake your life.
- “I don’t know what to say to non-Christians." You might think you don’t have what it takes to communicate your faith and encourage others to trust Christ. It’s true: Knowing what to say comes through training and practice. But it’s not overwhelmingly hard to get the knowledge and skills you need, and there are great resources to help you. Ask your youth leader to point you to them.
- “I’m afraid of how non-Christians will respond.” That’s what most often keeps Christians from sharing Christ. Satan and the world around you try to make you believe that what people think is more important than the message of freedom you have to share with them. As long as you focus on yourself instead of others, you’ll be ineffective as a liberator.
Fear isn't from God. If you quake at how non-Christians will react, tell God about your fear. Trust God to give you his confidence. Then take a step of faith and talk with others. As you do, you’ll discover God’s courage in your life—just when you need it. In fact, you usually won’t experience God’s power until you put yourself in a position where you need it! You’ll probably even get to keep your lips.
REFLECT: Are you hiding behind these excuses instead of boldly moving out to fulfill your rescue assignment?
PRAY: Talk to God about barriers that hold you back from being a liberator. He’ll give you the breakthrough you need.