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When to Share Your Faith

sharing faith

When to Share Your Faith … And When To Seal Your Lips

I remember the first time a college professor made fun of my faith. I was taking a history class at a small community college, but the professor spent more time talking about his atheistic beliefs than World Civilizations. He would work jabs against Christianity into every lecture. I’d sit there and squirm. I wanted to say something, anything, to make him see the error in his ways.

Finally, half-way through the semester I got up the nerve to say something to the professor. I raised my hand and made a comment about evidence of God’s hand in history. The professor listened for ten seconds, laughed, and then he continued on with his comments. I was embarrassed, and I never spoke up again. Looking back, that incident impacted me. It made me fearful of sharing my faith. I didn’t want to be embarrassed, and I got used to keeping my thoughts to myself.

It was only years later that I realized that Jesus understood and dealt with the same thing.

In Luke, Chapter 20, we see incident after incident of those who were trying to trap Jesus, to discredit him, and to make Jesus look bad in the eyes of the people. Jesus didn’t spout off volumes of truth, proving them wrong. Verse 8 says, “And Jesus responded, ‘Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things,’” (NLT).

Jesus knew what I learned—there are some people whose minds will not be changed no matter what we say. They have hard hearts. They listen only to come up with a rebuttal.

As Proverbs 26:4 says, “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are” (NLT).

Jesus talks about this again in Matthew 7:6: “”Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you” (NLT).

If you come up against someone like my professor you may want to share your faith, but if that doesn’t work out don’t let it stop you from reaching out to others who have softer hearts.

When to Share

As a mom of six children, one of my greatest desires has been to raise kids who can share their faith. John and I have taken our kids on mission trips. We’ve encouraged them to be shining beacons wherever they are. We’ve taught them how to share their faith by knowing what to look for.

How can they do that? By going through these steps when reaching out to others:

  • Get them to trust you as a Christian.
  • Get them curious about Jesus.
  • Get them to ask questions.
  • Get them to consider making changes in their own lives.
  • Invite them to have a personal relationship with Jesus.*

Jesus knew that there were some people who wanted to hurt him, to kill him. Yet He was always on the lookout for those with seeking hearts.

In your own life, know that there will be times when sharing your faith will not be easy or fruitful. There will be times when your words will bounce off hard hearts.

Instead of being discouraged, like Jesus, look for those who trust you, are curious and ask questions. Those are the people worth spending time with. The time you spend with soft-hearted people will hopefully reap eternal rewards!

*These principles are taken from the book I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus by Don Everts and Doug Schnapps

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  1. Jaime McLeod says:

    Thanks for the great insight! I too have been discouraged in the past trying to share my faith with non-believers and have since learned to just not say anything to them at all. I now look for people who are open and just try to shine the light of Jesus on them.

  2. This really touched my heart. I was just discussing this topic with a girl at church. In her first year of college, her speech teacher is an atheist. He has picked the subjects that the students can build their speeches on – all are based on atheistic beliefs which he calls “facts not opinion”. I gave her some web sites that had Christian research on most of the subjects, all of which are “facts” and not opinion, but I am not sure she will use them. It is so hard to stand up to a teacher. I sent her the link to this blog. I hope she reads this.

  3. Once in mid-conversation with a Christian friend of mine, she stopped and looked far into the distance. I asked what she was thinking. She said: ‘I’m just trying to think what Jesus would say, and what he would do with this…’. I was so impressed that in the middle of our babbling conversation, she wanted to base her reaction in Christ and consider what he would do – I would love to have the guts to say that in front of a NON-Christian friend, because in truth this is what we should be doing with all our reactions and decisions!

  4. I think college may be the toughest battleground for young Christians. It’s so disheartening to hear of all these stories of Atheists working in higher education and instructing our college students.

  5. I do completely agree that there is a time and place. I thank you for sharing your insight. But I do also want to encourage, that just because you do not not ‘see’ the fruit, it does not mean there wasn’t any. Yes, the professor’s heart may have been so hardened that he would not receive the truth. But what about the classmates? What about the unknown seeds that were planted, that you can still stand and believe will come to fruition :) Even though we may feel we stepped out at the wrong time ( a device of the enemy) , it doesn’t mean that we did. I do agree with your thoughts, but this one stirred up in me as well.

  6. Praise The Lord!!! GOD’S word will not be wasted, He will accomplish His purpose in the lives of the hearers! We are to love, speak and live His word, the results of that is His responsibility. Holy Spirit will give us discernment as we pray for wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. Sometimes when we are dealing with those who are hostile against God and His word, who mock and try and find fault with His ways, (pigs and swine as the Bible calls them), the best thing we can say is the silent words of a Godly life style, that God can cause to be heard louder than our spoken word. Father help us to speak Your word and live Your word daily, so that others will want to know You.

  7. Teaching our kids to share their faith is such a big deal. I’ve heard only 1% of Christians will ever share the gospel with someone in their entire life. How crazy is that!?! The very mission Jesus gave us… but it takes courage and it takes compassion and those are 2 things very hard to come by combined in our culture. Here is a great website with tons of ideas of how to take the first step. It’s by a friend of our on staff with us and he has 145 different ways to share the gospel.

  8. I loved the wisdom in this post. I’ve found myself thinking about this subject a lot lately. A friend has become distracted with politics and posts very hateful words on FB. It’s been on my heart should I remind her of God’s words and the true calling or let it go.
    I would like to also share something our Church does and I love it. We have several local colleges and a university in our city. We reach out to them each year and they give us a list of “adoptees”. Transfer and foreign Christian students. Every family that applys gets an adoptee that we welcome into our lives. They do not live with us but we spend at least one evening a week with them. Dinner with them, pray groups, bowling and we are there for spiritual guidance during their time at school. It’s wonderful to open our homes and lives to these students. When they have a teacher, as described, they have someone to turn to for guidance :)

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