Silence, however powerful, is not the cause of poor communication – the fear of pain is. It is basic to human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. But people actually avoid pain first and then seek pleasure.
Les and Leslie Parrott, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Page 81
This book by Les and Leslie Parrott is about marriage, but I also heard truth in it about our difficulty with sharing Jesus Christ. We know that telling people about Jesus is our most important job as Christians, yet most of us have never done it – and never will.
The young adult group discussion that I mentioned in my last post was based on a chapter in my book. They are graciously reading my book and discussing it one chapter a week. It’s based on John 10 where Jesus uses the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep to explain the relationship he has with us. The Shepherd (Jesus) leads us (his followers) to pasture, but that only happens if we actually leave the safety of the pen to follow him. The pasture is the ultimate fulfillment for the sheep; their way of living life to the fullest extent.
We know the Great Commission. We’ve read what Jesus told the disciples just before he returned to heaven about being his witnesses to people everywhere. Following Jesus means going where he leads. You can’t get to pasture unless you do. Here’s the bottom line: unless you communicate the love of Jesus Christ you will never have life to the fullest extent because that’s the direction he consistently leads you.
So, why don’t we? The Parrotts have great insight that applies to both communicating in marriage and communicating to other people about our awesome Savior. The promise of life to the fullest extent has pleasure as its lure, but we’d rather avoid the pain of rejection than the pursuit of uninhibited joy. We live in a world that emphasizes our immediate gratification and our right to be pain-free, but we’re not from this world. Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 4:17: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Pain is to be expected, but the reward is far greater.
Easter, more than any other Sunday, is the time of the year when unchurched friends are likely to join you at church. Eighty-two percent of people who don’t go to church said that they would go at Easter if only someone would invite them. Now is the time when the risk of rejection for communicating your faith is the least. So, why not give it a shot this Easter? Chase after ultimate joy and give up the fear of rejection for Lent.