121. I still remember the number of my junior high locker. As much time as I spent inside it, there’s really no way I could forget. It’s not as bad as you would imagine—being in a locker, I mean—especially if it’s before lunch and you’re stuck in there with a PB & J sandwich and a Dew.
I didn’t go in my locker of my own free will. I was forced in several times by several punks in my school. And the ringleader of the punk-heads was a guy named Eric. Eric used to sit behind me in algebra class and thump me on the back of the head. And to this day, if someone pops me upside the head, it quickly brings back memories of 9 a.m. algebra, Eric, and headaches.
I often wondered why Eric didn’t like me. That is, until the day he told me it was because I was a Christian. All through junior high and high school, it seemed Eric’s goal in life was to totally ruin six years of my existence. Therefore, you can imagine, when I heard God tell me that He wanted me to talk to Eric about what it meant to be a Christian, I assumed God was mistaken. I remember laughing at first. But He wasn’t joking!
I intentionally ignored His request for four months. And I was miserable because of it. I knew what God wanted me to do. And I knew I would stay miserable until I did it. So finally I talked to Eric about Jesus. And yes, back into the locker I went!
What? “You have got to be kidding,” I thought. It wasn’t supposed to work this way. I remember thinking, “I did what God asked me to, and He didn’t come through for me! I put my neck on the line with a guy I can’t even stand to look at, and it didn’t work!” I was mad. Mad at God.
It took me awhile, but I learned a lot about my witness through this experience. I learned that there’s much more to sharing my faith than the outcome. I learned that my witness is an integral part of who I am as a man. And every day, regardless of how others respond, I have a responsibility to live out a life of witness.
The Life You Live > The Words You Say
What if you walked into school this week to find every student and teacher seated in the gymnasium? And then, what if the principal called you to join him at center court? And then, what if one by one, every student and teacher in your school walked across the court, grabbed the microphone, and were each given thirty seconds to proclaim to everyone how you’ve witnessed to them with the way you live your life. What would they say? What would you want them to say?
Actions speak louder than words. And people are watching. And with every encounter, you have the opportunity-the responsibility-to show them there’s something different about you because you are a follower of Jesus. And often, this happens without ever opening your mouth.
Every day, in every relationship, with every encounter, you have the chance to be Jesus to your world. Most of the time you don’t do it with what you say, but with what you do. And for a lot of the people you cross paths with, this could be the only glimpse they ever get of God.
Forget The Fear Factor
It took me four months of ignoring what God asked me to do before I finally chose to share my faith with Eric. Why? Because I was afraid of what Eric might think about me. I was afraid of what Eric might say to me. I was afraid of what Eric might do to me…like give me another close-up look at the inside of locker number 121.
This is exactly how Satan works. He wants to scare you and me into believing that when we speak to others about God, we’ll be ridiculed or picked on. Yes, each of these outcomes is a possibility. But when you choose to let God use you, 2 TIMOTHY 1:7 is a reminder that God’s Spirit doesn’t make a coward out of you. As you allow God to work in your life, He’ll replace your cowardice with courage; your fear with faith; your hesitation with hope; your panic with power; and your worry with wonder.
When God Asks, He Provides
As you commit to God’s plan for your life, get ready. Because along with this commitment comes responsibility—the responsibility to share God with others. There’s no greater privilege in life than sharing the saving message of Jesus with someone else. However, sometimes talking to a person about Jesus may seem impossible. But make no mistake, when God calls you to do something:
He’ll never require something of you that’s impossible.