If you struggle with button-lip syndrome – you clam up when opportunities to talk about Jesus come around – maybe the problem is not your love for Jesus or your faith in him, but maybe it’s a competency issue. Maybe the question Jesus might ask you is, “Do you know enough?” Ignorance of the faith can be a barrier to witnessing.
Think of Peter again and how he started out. A fisherman. The Pharisees would later look on Peter as a common, uneducated man. But he didn’t stay that way. He grew in knowledge, and even wrote in his final words of his second letter, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus.”
How do I grow in knowledge? 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” The King James says, “Study to show yourself approved.” You’ve got to do your homework.
I know they’ve got pills for everything else these days, but they still haven’t come up with one to help you achieve instant spiritual wisdom. I’ve never seen a faith-based infomercial where a preacher-looking guy holds up a bottle to the screen and says, “Give your faith a boost today with devil-proof Bibletron. Ask your pastor for a prescription today.”
Sorry, ain’t no such thing. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I’ve heard many believers lament the fact that a Jehovah Witness or a Mormon on their doorstep knows more of the Bible than they do. Well, first of all, having had conversations with hundreds of them over the years, I know for a fact that’s not true. What they know are the particular Bible passages they’ve been trained to learn.
Which points to what is the difference between most Christians and the cult member on their doorstep – dedicated training. They’ve read loads of books, attended seminars, gone on extensive mission trips, received personal mentoring – they’ve studied to show themselves approved in the eyes of their leaders.
Now why can’t a follower of Christ study to show himself or herself approved in the eyes of their Savior? Here we are as close to truth as nectar is to the flower, yet way too many Christian honey bees fly around aimlessly and lazily – refusing to drink, then wondering why the other honey bees seem so much more energetic than they are.
If you need to learn more stuff before you’ll feel comfortable sharing your faith, well then physician heal thyself! Chances are good your home church provides a smorgasbord of resources for spiritual growth that you haven’t taken advantage of yet. Your pastor would gladly sit down with you and design a practical curriculum of books and audio-visual resources that would help you take a quantum leap forward in your knowledge and skills of discipleship.
You’ve thrown away enough weekends binge-watching Netflix. Don’t you think it’s time to binge-study about the Lord you say you love?