Throughout university, I participated in events with my college and church ministries, sharing the gospel on trips, at programs, and on campus. Excited with the freedom of open listeners and only the boundaries of sensitivity, I rarely felt fearful of sharing the gospel.
Ever since I began teaching at a public high school, fear began to creep up in the form of discomfort and trepidation. Those with whom I could freely share were now limited to co-workers. As one of the youngest staff members (and, consequently, possessing the least amount of professional experience), I worried about solidifying my position, gaining respect, and not warding people off. While I took opportunities to share my reason for hope, I often left feeling discouraged and ashamed. I felt weak, incompetent, and bumbling.
My words failed me, and so, I thought, I’ve failed God.
Shortly after this school year began, my small group started studying 1 Corinthians. Reading through and wrestling with each passage, I found that the following verses suddenly took on more value:
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:12-13
I am called to be faithful to the opportunities God invites me into. If He, in His sovereign will, allows me to share the best news with others, why should I fear that the outcome will be anything other than that which He desires? He has all power to use us in our weakness. My own abilities carry no weight – my fear has no place.
He, within me, will impart His gospel in words taught by the Spirit, and that is always more than enough.