Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Perhaps you already know these verses in Matthew 28:18-20. Many Christians know the Great Commission. Many preachers have declared, “go, witness, and share Jesus with others.” We know Jesus wants us to reach others.
But, then, why don’t we share? William Fay, author of Share Jesus Without Fear reports that only five to ten percent of people in church have shared their faith with a non-Christian in the past year. That means 90 percent of the people in church are NOT sharing Jesus with others.
We know the commandment. We know we’re supposed to share Jesus with others. But only five to ten percent are actually sharing their faith with others. Why are so many of us reluctant and hesitant? Why do we struggle with sharing our faith in Jesus with others? Why are so many Christians failing to do evangelism and outreach?
One major reason is that we are afraid the person we share Jesus with will answer, “No.”
We are afraid the person will not accept Jesus as their Lord and personal Savior. We do not like “No” for an answer. Our minds have been trained since we were babies to believe that “No” means we have done something wrong or failed.
It has been reported that nine out of ten deaf children are born to hearing parents. Most often, hearing parents do not know sign language. For many hearing parents, they may know and use a few signs, including “No” or “Stop.” When their deaf child does something bad, they immediately sign “No” or “Stop.” Deaf children learn, rather quickly, that seeing the sign “No” or “Stop” means they have done something wrong.
I have a six-year-old hearing daughter, Shekynah. When she was about 18 months old, she did several interesting things. First, she walked to an electric outlet, and when she put her fingers near the outlet, I signed “No”. In response, she cried. Another time, she walked over to her younger brother, Corban, and bit him. I signed “No” to her. What was her response? Yes, you guessed it… she cried. Later, she threw her food on the floor when she was eating in a high chair. I signed “No.” She cried, once again. My daughter Shekynah was learning that “NO” meant she had done something wrong. (Then for a while she was even afraid to try things that were all right for her!)
We are like that sometimes when it comes to sharing Jesus with others. We do not share because we are afraid the person we want to share Jesus with will say, “No.” Then, like Shekynah, when we see “No” we feel like we did something wrong, when really we did not do anything wrong.
How do we overcome this fear of “No”? We need to remember Jesus’ words in John 6:44, “No one can come to me [Jesus] unless the father who sent me draws him.”
God is the one who “draws” people to Him. We do not draw people to God. It is NOT our responsibility to convince the person to say “Yes.” Our responsibility is to share Jesus with the person. It is God’s responsibility (through the Holy Spirit) to convict a person. Do not be discouraged, when witnessing, if the person says “No.” If a person says “No”, they are not saying “No” to you. They are saying “No” to God. Just be glad that you have done what God wants you to do – share Jesus. Leave the rest to God.
I tried to share Jesus with a deaf man several years ago in Baltimore, Maryland. But he said, “NO!” And he meant NO! As I left his house, I was discouraged that he said, “No!” But my Christian friends quickly reminded me that I had done my job and to the leave the rest to God.
Our role is to be salt and light in a world that needs both. God pursues and we respond. We are called to simply be honest about what we have experienced.
Chad Entinger works with Deaf Teen Quest, a ministry of Youth for Christ.
Go to: yfc.net/deafteenquest
© Copyright Chad Entinger 2016