Care Enough to Share
Stu, my college roommate, had just asked the question. Stu had a very bad attitude about Christians. He thought they were either hypocrites or fanatics, or a little bit of both.
I felt a hard knot form in my stomach. I wondered what I should say. I wanted to defend Christians. I also wanted to let Stu know that not all Christians were that pushy. I especially didn't want him to think I fit his "negative stereotype."
What came out of my mouth was this:
"Well, Stu, maybe some Christians are too pushy. But think about this: Imagine I found out your mother had cancer. Let's say I had a cure for her cancer in a bottle in my dresser drawer. Would you want me to keep quiet about it? Just leave the cure in my dresser?"
Stu gave me a blank stare.
"See, Stu," I continued, "Christians believe all people have a kind of spiritual cancer. We call it sin. We believe it's a killer—it'll keep you from living your life to the fullest. It'll keep you out of heaven and eternally separated from the God who loves you. But Christians believe we have the cure. So wouldn't it be wrong for us not to share this with people we believe are dying from spiritual cancer?"
Stu remained unusually quiet. It seemed he was kind of thinking through what I'd said. Like maybe it had made a little sense.
Why Are Christians So "Serious"?
Comparing sin to sickness isn't something I made up. Jesus used the analogy about 2,000 years ago. He once said he hung around spiritually hurting and morally messed-up people because it's "not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. … For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (see Matthew 9:10-12).
Jesus made it his mission to pass along "the cure" for sin. In fact, his death on the cross is proof of how serious he was about this mission. It's also proof of how well he understood the dreaded consequences of sin. Sin is so bad it could only be cured through the death of God's own Son.
Should we be any less serious and passionate about sharing the cure? Hardly. The reality is this: If we truly believe sin is a deadly sickness, we must care enough to offer others the "medicine" of salvation. And while we don't want to come across as pushy, we should feel a certain urgency about sharing the cure.
Sharing our faith with others, however, is more than just something we should do. It's an incredible privilege! Just think of it: God allows us to bring his saving message to our non-Christian friends. What an honor!
Telling others about Christ is also something we must do. It's an obligation. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have," Peter says in the Bible. He adds that we are to do so "with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).
That's right: Arrogance has no place in our witness. And we are never to be, well, pushy —if pushy means "obnoxious" and "disrespectful."
And sometimes we don't even need to open our mouths. In another place, Peter says we are to live such good lives among non-Christians that "they may see your good deeds and glorify God … " (1 Peter 2:12). Our attitudes and actions are to reflect God's love and concern—so much so that others will be attracted to God.