The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
– Prov 28.1
Boldness. Are you a bold person? Are you bold about your faith? For some reason we tend to be nervous about sharing our faith, even though we are quite comfortable talking about most other aspects of our lives. Why is it then that we are afraid to talk about our faith? Rejection? Uncertainty? Are you afraid to talk about politics? Or other hot-topic issues? Some people enjoy those hearty and often heated conversations, while others shy away from them.
I vividly remember the transition in my life when I started to consider discussing Jesus with my friends. I lived in Philadelphia, PA until I was in the third grade. I went to a Christian elementary school where we prayed, memorized scripture and talked about Jesus every day. When I was in the fourth grade we moved to Indiana and I started going to a public school. I remember talking to my friend about Jesus and she did not go to church or know his story. There was no judgment or awkwardness, as we were still children, but it was the first time I realized that not everyone knew Him. We did not talk about the Bible at this school. But He was so much a part of my life that I just talked about Him, and church and the Bible anyway.
I am not that bold anymore. But when I do encounter conversations that can easily be turned Spiritual, I often remember that day and that conversation when I was so shocked that not everyone knew Jesus.
I think that our boldness has to do, in part, with the level of saturation we have in Him. If you love Jesus, if you spend your mornings with Him, if you discuss major choices with Him and trust Him for your daily sustenance, satisfaction and joy, He will be a quick topic of conversation for you. Have you ever noticed how car fanatics can turn any conversation to cars? Football fans can make any correlation to football? Any story reminds them of a story related to their hobby. When I first moved back from four yeas abroad, everything reminded me of my host country, and I know I drove my friends and family nuts saying, “That reminds me of the time…” and “Overseas they did…”. But the farther removed I get from my time abroad, the less it comes up.
Jesus and your faith have to soak into your subconscious. The more that happens, situations will remind you of His faithfulness, a story out of Scripture, or your personal conversion and those things will simply bubble out.
That being said, there is always room to grow in boldness. Paul, the apostle who wrote half of the New Testament, asked the Church at Ephesus to pray for him that he would have boldness:
and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
– Eph 6.19-20
I imagine it would be difficult to preach the gospel to the guards and other inmates when you have been locked up for preaching the Gospel. But that was the level of boldness for which Paul needed prayer.
How bold are you? Do you talk about Jesus and your faith? Do you stand up for what is right? How saturated are you in Christ? Does He ooze out of you? Does your conversation naturally turn to Him and the things of the faith? Wherever you are, we can all pray for more boldness and grow. Even Paul did. Let’s soak in Him. Let’s immerse ourselves in the faith more deeply. Let’s allow daily situations to call our faith to mind. And let’s talk freely about Him and our stories, and continue to pray for more boldness – no matter how bold we become!