Atheist Penn Jilette recently said, “How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” This is perhaps one of the most powerful statements supporting the need for people to be active in evangelism I have ever heard. When I think about some of the reasons, I do not share my faith often it goes back to this idea of fear. Fear being perhaps one of the most powerful emotions that all people deal with.
The power of fear was portrayed in one of my favorite miniseries, Band of Brothers. During one of the shows, Capt. Ronald Speirs was teaching more timid soldier named Blithe about how to overcome fear and become an effective solider. Speirs said:
“We're all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there's still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function. Without mercy. Without compassion. Without remorse. All war depends upon it.”
The take away for me was at some point I have to come to the conclusion that for me to be effective in this Christian walk I need to be willing to live my life as if it has nothing to do with my aspiration or endeavors unless they are accomplishing the cause of Christ. Not that I cannot be successful in worlds eyes, but my success cannot ever overshadow my desire to develop into a fully devoted follower of Christ.
For me to be a successful believer I have to be willing to see people the way that God does. I do not need to consumed with anything except living my life is such a way that whomever I encounter sees Christ in me. I think that is what Paul was trying to convey in 1 Corinthians 9: 19-23:
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (ESV)
To become the best solider for Christ I need to be certain that when people encounter me they do not see me but see Christ in me. When they see Christ in me it does not matter who I am because they do not need me, they need Jesus. When they see Jesus in me, they see exactly what they need to see.