I’ve always admired people who were undeniably theirselves and boldly lived their faith. I always strived to be that way, but a lot of times I would put up a wall and shield everything inside. Why? Fear.
I’m sure many people can relate when I say that fear can be one of the largest setbacks in life. It’s easy to hold things inside due to worries about judgement and criticism because nobody wants that. But when it comes to even more controversial topic such as faith and Christianity, something that is often criticized and persecuted, it can be really easy for the fear to build up. And this can definitely make an impact when it comes to teaching others about God and leading an example to others.
So that leaves me with a question: How can we find the courage to fearlessly and confidently share God’s word amid a judgmental world? Friend, this is a question I sought the answer to for a very long time. Then one day I received one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever been given, and it’s something we all need to hear to encourage us to always lead others to Christ without worrying about the opinion of others.
Together, let’s dive into the Bible and God’s will for us as well as taking a look at the life-changing advice I once received!
Why do we have fear?
As humans, fear is a natural thing that is a result of Original Sin. Before Adam and Eve ate from the tree that God had forbidden them to eat from, humanity was in perfect harmony with God and the rest of creation. However, after their defiance of God’s rules, this was lost. One of the first things that happened to Adam and Eve after they sinned was they experienced guilt and fear. In Genesis 3 verse 8, when God called out their names, Adam and Eve both hide from Him out ashamed for what they had done and fearful of what He would think. The verse says:
“Then the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking in the garden. It was during the coolest time of the day. They hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:8)
Ever since sin originated in mankind in Genesis 3, every human in humanity has felt the impacts of it – you and I included. So first of all, I want to comfort you with the fact that we all experience fear and that you should never be ashamed of it.
What does God say?
In moments of fear, God tells us to trust Him and says do not be afraid. Here’s something interesting: the phrase “do not be afraid” is written in the Bible 365 times in the Bible, which is almost like a daily reminder for us not to fear and to trust God. For example, it can be seen in Isaiah 41:10 when it says:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
God does not want us to fear is because He wants us to put our complete trust in Him and find comfort in that. Trust is the perfect remedy for fear, and it is a way to extend your heart to God and show your dependance on Him while remembering that He is constantly by our side. My post 5 Bible Verses For When You’re Worried About The Future shares some of my favorite Bible verses about trusting God.
God wants us to be comforted by His presence, His goodness, His love, and His care. So whenever you experience fear, turn to God in prayer. From personal experience, I really have found true peace and comfort in doing so. You can see this so evidently in this verse: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
So how can we use this to confidently proclaim the gospel to others?
A deeper look at scripture
The other day I was doing an assignment for my theology class and I came across a verse that I knew I needed to include. This verse is from the Sermon on the Mount (which is Matthew 5-8) and is one of the Beatitudes. The Sermon on the Mount is a sermon that Jesus gave on a hill in northern Israel that teaches the ideals of the Christian life and the way us Christians should be living. (It’s a really eye-opening read that will challenge you!)
The verses I want to share are Matthew 5:11-12, which say: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)
These verses are so powerful. The key takeaway from these verses is that whoever is persecuted for the sake of doing what’s right of sharing about Jesus is blessed and that they will be rewarded in heaven. God promises us that heaven is the ultimate reward for us humans, and He talks about the greatness of it in verses such as 1 Corinthians 2:9, Matthew 5:12, and Revelation 21:1-5.
Let’s even think about Jesus himself and the life he led in order to bring people closer to God, the Father. Jesus was mocked and persecuted throughout his entire ministry. As he was nailed to the cross and dying in order to save us, people were sitting and making fun of him. Jesus was so criticized, yet we are called to be as much like Jesus as possible. “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6)
God doesn’t call us to be fearful, He calls us to be fearlessly spread His word and lead others to Him. One of my favorite Bible verses that inspires me is Mark 16:15-16 which says, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” This verse constantly inspires me to spread the good news of God, and I even keep it at the top of my Pinterest.
Lessons from social media
A few months after Faith Filled You had been established (and quarantine hit in 2020), I decided to make a faith-based TikTok account to lead others to Christ on the popular video platform.
I will say, I had so much fun creating content and the amount of people that my account was able to reach and inspire was truly outstanding. However, despite all the positives that TikTok had, it also brought some struggles as comments full of criticism, judgement, and hate began rolling in.
These comments always pulled at my heart, and they definitely made me question things and dug up feelings such as doubt and fear. There were times when I wasn’t even sure if I should endure posting. I really began to question myself, thinking “Do I have the courage to share my faith boldly? Can I take this criticism? And if not, how can I learn to do so?”
So…how can you find courage to spread God’s word despite the fear you may experience from the critical world?
I spent a lot of time thinking about this and even talking to God about my feelings, and one day I received exactly what I needed to hear.
One day I went on a fellow TikToker’s livestream named Jana. Since she is a well-known Christian content creator, I asked her if she felt ashamed or got nervous about what other people thought about her sharing her faith. Her response blew my mind. It was so simple, yet so TRUE and powerful.
What she said went along the lines of this: No, I do not insecure or ashamed about what others think about me spreading God’s word. I know that I am doing the right thing by sharing Him with the world and encouraging others to grow closer to Him. I live to please Jesus and only Jesus.
Of course, I just want to emphasize that we should always try to please others (Jesus even calls us to help the poor, love, and be kind), but our primary focus is pleasing Jesus with hopes that someday we can join him in heaven. However, whenever we look to please others, we should look to see if it pleases God first. You see, such as by giving to the poor, you are pleasing others and pleasing God. However, there are things you can do please others and not please God (such as making jokes that you think are funny but are actually very hurtful or offensive). And in the same way, you can please God even if it won’t necessarily make other people pleased (such as sharing and teaching about Him). But at the end of the day, what’s better: the approval of others or the approval of God?
The primary lesson here: Before you do anything, think about if it will please Jesus.
I took this advice and applied it to not only online, but to every aspect of my life. Whether I’m at home, at school, or with friends, I’ve learned to be proud in my faith and in sharing it, not nervous about criticism or judgement.
As mentioned above, God wants you to lead others to Him! So go confidently and courageously share your faith because it will make Jesus proud. Friends, I think that this is the simple answer to the question we’ve been asking. It’s all about remembering a few simple things and living out what God has called us to do.
I think its important to remember why we are here. We are here to spread God’s word with others in hopes that we will all receive eternal life in heaven someday. So why let others opinions prevent you from doing that?
I’d like to end this post with a Bible verse that sums up the message: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
Friend, I hope that this post speaks to you and encourages you more than every to go bring glory to God! Remember that faith is a journey and that no one is perfect, but we all have a calling from God to lead others to Him. So go confidently and courageously do so!