I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. Since I was a kid, people have told me that I "make friends everywhere I go."
I don't see myself as very likable because "we are our own worst critics." Anyhow, I have a really strange anxiety whenever I meet new people. My head gets hot. I start to sweat.
It's a nervous feeling that, in a weird way, I enjoy. I like that jittery feeling when my heart starts pumping too fast. But it tends to interfere with my conversations. It keeps them surface level.
That anxious feeling tends to block me from having meaningful conversations with. I can't think of what to say. So I instinctively start making jokes to avoid an awkward silence.
Before I know it, my new acquaintance has to end the conversation and I've potentially missed an opportunity to get to know someone on a personal level.
Then I start repeating the conversation in my head. Did I even attempt to get personal with them? Was there any mention of faith or what they believe about God?
Now, I don't believe in "street preaching" at all. Approaching strangers and yelling "Repent or you're going to hell!" is not only ignorant, it's also ineffective and stupid.
But it is necessary to mention what you believe when speaking with new people. Even the slightest mention of God typically triggers someone to state what they believe. That can then lead to a much more meaningful conversation.
It can open doors that welcome spiritual comfort and opportunities for help and encouragement. It's then that you can really get to know someone.
If the opportunity to encourage or share the gospel with someone doesn't present itself, don't force it. When you get to know someone, over time God will present you with these opportunities.
By not sharing my beliefs with others ( at the appropriate times, of course ), I'm missing out on one of the coolest parts of being a believer. I'm missing out on the chance to really give myself to someone.
As part of what Christians call The Great Commission, Jesus commands his people to "Go and make disciples of all nations." - Matthew 28:19
This warrants an active physical response. That word "Go" commands us to take action, give our time, our money, our resources, and our love to people. That's the so-called "good stuff."
I want to start being more vocal about my faith. I'm tired of missing out on the "good stuff."