The Barrier of Fear
Though we have been called to shake the salt and shine the light, most of us dilute the salt and cover the light. Two primary reasons why most believers do not share their faith are fear of rejection and fear of failure. No one wants to be disliked, alienated, labeled, and avoided. Many Christians are afraid to tell others about Christ because they think they are being personally rejected if their audience does not respond positively. This fear stems from an inadequate view of God. As believers in Christ, we must recognize that our real security and identity is found in Him, not in our vacillating relationships with others. We must also realize that when people reject our message, this need not mean that they are rejecting us. Rather, they are saying no to God’s offer of life in Christ.
While the fear of rejection is often the result of an inadequate view of God, the fear of failure generally results from an inadequate view of evangelism. As we have seen, the typical evangelistic model is confrontational rather than conversational. Few people feel comfortable with an approach that lays all the stress on “closing the sale” and reaping the harvest. The relational model, on the other hand, offers an alternative approach that views evangelism as a process that can take days, weeks, or years. When we participate in the process at any point and leave the results in God’s hands, we can relax in the relationship and depend on God’s power. “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7; see Psalm 56:3-4; Nehemiah 4:14). When we remember that we are God’s children, and that He has promised His presence and power as we communicate the Good News (Matthew 28:20), we can rest in Him.
Taken from Ken Boa’s Handbook to Spiritual Growth
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