I remember as a child being taught to share. Of all the things I had to share, I believe that sharing my toys was the hardest – especially sharing with my brother. I remember countless hours spent fighting with him over Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys and Legos. I believe that if our mother hadn’t come from such a great gene pool, she would be completely white-headed right now. And probably resting, medication-assisted, in a padded room.
Now that I’m older, I still struggle with sharing. I don’t always want to share my time or my compassion or my money – as though they’re actually mine. And sometimes I don’t want to share my faith – not because I’m selfish but because I feel so inadequate. And maybe a little because I’m scared that I’ll be look (or be proven) ignorant or foolish.
This inadequacy, however, is precisely the foundation of my faith.
I believe that there is a God who created everything, is always already at work in the world, and wants to have a relationship with me, you, and everybody. I also believe that I am completely incapable of being in this relationship with God regardless of how good I try to be. I believe that, because I am incapable of being in relationship with God, Jesus of Nazareth, God Incarnate, lived, died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from death on the third day. And that, while his resurrection was not seen, many people did see him walking the earth after his resurrection from the dead.
I believe this for three reasons:
- I was raised to believe this. Yes…let’s get this out of the way. I was taught this as a child. And when I was a child I believed in the same way a child believes that the stork brings their baby brother (or sister). I was raised in a community that believed this.
- I believe that there is historical evidence that makes a strong case for the literal death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. I don’t think there is any way to explain it away that has any historical backing. Nothing but conjecture and theory. And if the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth are true, then I can believe the rest of what is found in the Bible.
- Finally, I believe that my life has been changed because of my relationship with God. Yes, I said “relationship.” I believe that God is personally involved in my life (and in your life) and that his will is for us to be in relationship with him. That is why Jesus lived, died, was buried, and was raised again from the dead.
That’s why I believe. Now for how I try to share my faith.
- I attempt to live the Gospel. I don’t want to just talk about it. I don’t want to argue about it. I want to bring the good news of Jesus through my life. To be part of proclaiming freedom to captives and health to the sick. I want to be a steward of the world and the people that God has so graciously given me.
- I share stories. I share my story. I share the stories of how God has worked in the lives of people I know. And I recount the stories and promises of scripture.
- I endeavor to point out where God is working. If he’s always working and always present, then I must recognize him and bring attention to what he’s done or is doing.