A Pathetic Witness


I’ve had a lot of thoughts today about mentors and mentoring. None of them collections; they are scattered and hardly worth relaying. But perhaps they will stimulate your mind and prompt you to fill the comments with more meaty material than my post! (:

This morning I was journaling my disappointment with myself. The Bible commands Christians to always be ready to give a defense for the hope that it is  in us. I am confident that I have grown exponentially in my faith over the last 17 years and especially in the last 4-5 years. However, the courage and comprehensive thoughts that are required to present a persuasive “case for Christ” evade me. How is it that I can KNOW with all surety that Jesus is my life, that Jesus is the only reason that I am alive today, that Jesus is my hope and uncanny Joy, that Jesus is the solitary solution for every pain and question, and that everyone who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is headed to hell – how can I know this – and still stutter when given the opportunity to share my faith?

A friend from work joined me at church a couple weeks ago. She loves the Lord, but is admittedly young in her faith. Two days later we were both approached at work by another friend and the conversation led this friend saying, “Oh, I never read the Bible. I think it is just too far-fetched, a story. I raised my children to be religious. I believe that god is in each of us and we need to aspire to be good.”

I love this friend. We’ve had such fun together at work, laughing and goofing off. Now, she asked me a few questions and as I told her who Jesus was and why the Bible is trustworthy – it sounded sci-fi, out there and little crazy even to me. I found  myself saying, “It’s hard to explain.” I can scarcely believe I’m admitting this. I write this blog as devotional, with a heart to serve Jesus with my talents and make Him winsome to others. And here I am telling you that I’m pathetic at sharing the gospel.

Journaling leads me down rabbit trails sometimes, but then often drops me back off where I started by the end of my ramblings. That happened today. I drew the connection between mentoring relationships and Jesus with His disciples. They chose to follow Him. They sought His advice and learned from his teachings both in word and in action. He poured His life into them. I am a disciple of Jesus, so I asked His advice.

“Jesus, Rabbi. Why can I not explain the intense value, perfection and necessity of believing in you? What if Peter had been asked why he was following you?”

“Abby,” Jesus answered me, as a faithful mentor always does. “My disciples were asked why they believed in me. I even asked them myself.

‘Who do people say that I am?’ I followed that question with, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Peter answered with words that the Father gave him, ‘ You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.'” (Matt 16)

Suddenly, I saw a difference in Peter’s response and my own. Peter did not respond, “This is what I personally think…” He responded with undiluted certainty, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

When the final critical question is asked, a confident answer is required. Especially in financially troubling times, days of earthquakes, extreme weather, drunken fathers, abused children, AIDS epidemics and ravaging cancer – people do not care what I think. I cannot impart the truth with a timid suggestion of a possible truth.

So declaratively, without apology: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is more than my belief. It simply, HE SIMPLY IS.

5 thoughts on “A Pathetic Witness

  1. You nailed it with the last lines of this Abby. Keep it simple. You also answered your own question when you pointed out the “one” disciple answered correctly. We are not all good speakers and/or debaters. Some can write, some can sing, some can preach, some can debate, and some merely witness with the way they live their lives. Though we may be Christian, we remain human. God made us all different and will use our abilities and talents to His best result.
    Sorry. Didn’t mean to get preachy!

  2. I can relate! The whole purpose of writing my Blog Fiction was to present a story that brought a non-believing character to the knowledge of Christ. It took me an entire year to gain the courage to even mention the word ‘God’ on my blog. Why–how on earth did that happen? Why was I so intimidaded and fearful? On sites like FaithWriters, it’s so easy to speak freely, but in the secular world, I feel like my throat closes up.

    I’m learning to be more bold in my faith, and in how I speak of my faith. But I also believe that ‘showing’ is AS if not MORE important as ‘telling’. Where I fail to witness verbally, I can speak volumes in my actions.

    1. I absolutely agree about the showing/telling. However, I know that I am comfortable “showing” but telling scares me. Therefore, I think I need to work on my telling more courageously.
      And thank you Theresa – I’m glad to know you personally. You write so well, that for the longest time I actually thought Kristen was real!!
      Good Job!

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