"...and many people came Him. They said, 'Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.' And on that place, many believed in Jesus" (John 10:41-42).
Have you noticed that irritating feeling of discomfort that comes when you hear people talk about sharing your faith with others? You feel a pressure in your gut that reminds you of what it was like to eat the wrong thing late at night. Then, you begin to feel a guilt for not jumping out there and becoming the "Billy Graham" of your generation! Perhaps those feelings are based on perceptions that we have derived from a great mis-characterization of the responsibility we are to have as Christians. No, you don't get off the hook that easy. We do have a responsibility, but it tends to grow in our mind until it becomes so big that we talk ourselves out of it!
The Biblical example of John the Baptist is one that sheds great light on the more accurate expectation that we have. John never came to the savior of anything or anyone. That wasn't his responsibility. His entire ministry was focused on preparation and pointing. He prepared the hearts of people and then pointed them to Jesus. He declared that he had to decrease so that Jesus could increase. It never was about John, yet he continued to preach and point. He didn't point to himself, but to Christ. And, because he had done so many found that what he spoke of was true and they believed in Jesus. John didn't need to perform. He only needed to point!
The pressure comes when we believe the lie that we somehow have to perform. We here so much that we to be "Jesus with skin-on" that we forget that there is only ONE Jesus, and we're not it! We are to reflect who He is, not recreate who He is. We don't have to perform. We are not to live to be accepted or applauded by people. What we do is not to be for our glory, but for the glory of God. Our purpose as a believer is to live this life LOUD, and with purpose, preparing the hearts of people, and then pointing them to Jesus. We can't push them, but we can show them, encourage them, live it out ourselves, and then leave the rest up to God.
Go ahead and take a deep breath. You don't have to BE Jesus. But, let HIM be Jesus IN YOU! You be the pointer, the one who's life shines with the love of Jesus, showing people the way. So, the challenge is simple. Our lives must be lived in a way that points to Him, not to us. Take a moment and consider the motivation of your heart. Are you living your life to perform? Are you on the stage, trying to accomplish the acceptance of others? Or, are you living your life to point? Are you convinced that there is One greater? One that you need? One that will increase in your life ONLY as you decrease? Be free from the pressure to perform! Just POINT!