Monday, September 12, 2011

Tour Guides Do It...Why Don't We?

     During our two and a half weeks trip to the United Kingdom and Europe, we listened to a number of tour guides.  These were dedicated people who knew a great deal about the area we were traveling too and were ready to share their knowledge.  Most, of course, were natives of the country.  In addition, most of them spoke several languages so they could meet the needs of all the tourists on board their bus.  Our last tour guide was fluent in German, English and Spanish.  I was amazed at her ability.  It is rare in America to find someone who speaks several languages.  Of course, this is important in Europe where countries are in close proximity to one another.   Certainly, our trip was enhanced by listening to these guides who knew their country far better than we did.
     Upon reflection, I couldn't help but think about the similarities between the job of a tour guide and our job as ambassadors for Christ.  Aren't we supposed to be sharing what we know about our Lord and Savior with others?  Who better to broadcast the Good News than those of us who have received God's mercy and grace?  Yet, why is it that many of us do not do so?  I believe there are several reasons that hold us back.
     First, we are afraid we will be rejected in what we have to say.  Everyone wants to be liked and accepted by others; so when we come to topics like politics or our faith, there is a hesitancy to open our mouths and speak what we know to be true.  Psalm 118:6 reminds us:  "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?"  Again in Hebrews 13:6 we read:  "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can mortals do to me?"  If we know we are backed by our Creator, none of us should be fearful of what our fellow man thinks of us or how he may react to what we say.  Instead, we need to be confident in telling others about Jesus Christ.  After all, this is what the Lord, Himself, instructed us to do before He ascended into heaven (Matthew 28:18-20).  It is far more important to obey God rather than to be afraid of how others react to our message.
     A second reason we tend to hold back in sharing our faith is a concern that we will not say the right thing.  Once again, Jesus spoke to this concern when He reminded the disciples that in the hour of their need the Holy Spirit would help them speak the right thing.  Luke 12:12 states:  "....for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."  God always comes through in this area.  There have been numerous occasions when I wasn't certain how to answer some one's question about my faith, but I trusted God to give me the right words, and He has never let me down.  We need to believe in His ability...not our own.  There is a saying that goes: " He doesn't call the equipped.  He equips the called."  I firmly believe that.  God wants us to rely on His wisdom as we share.
     Finally, we have to consider how laziness plays into our inability to share the Good News.  It is so easy for us to push the responsibility of telling others about our Lord by making excuses such as:  "It's the pastor's job to tell people" or "I'll get around to it one day, but today I just don't feel like it."  Jesus called us all into the priesthood of believers.  All of us serve Him as ambassadors of the news that He has come to forgive us our sins and provide salvation to those whom He has chosen.  A good ambassador doesn't push the responsibility off onto another nor does he postpone delivering a message because he doesn't feel like it.  Imagine what would happen to the job of a foreign ambassador if he/she used either of these excuses?  Certainly, their job would not last long.  Each one of us has a story to tell of how and when we came to salvation in Christ.  It is not hard to talk about what we have personally come to know; therefore, we need to put aside our excuses and laziness and make known to others what Jesus Christ has done in our lives.
     As I look back at our tour guides, none of them was afraid to share the information they had about their country and the sights we were seeing.  None of them worried about what to say.  They merely told the story of their land with passion and interest.  Last but not least, they were not lazy in sharing.  They invited questions which they tried to answer to the best of their ability.  We are not unlike a tour guide either.  We know in whom we have believed, and we should be able to tell others without fear what He has done to change our lives.  Whether our testimony is simple or elaborate, it makes no difference because the results are in God's hands.  He is the one that calls, regenerates the heart and convicts another of sin.  He asks us only to serve as His ambassadors to this world in need.  He will do the rest if only we will share what we know.  Let us be bold in Christ to share our faith with others.  After all, someone told us and God did the rest.  Selah!


Christina said...

Hi Barbara!

Long time no see, eh! LOL! It's good to be back in the blogosphere after my little hiatus.

Well, this was a wonderful post dear sister -- and a very convicting one too. If I'm honest, I can see myself in all of the reasons that you laid out.

I loved how you concluded with this: "Whether our testimony is simple or elaborate, it makes no difference because the results are in God's hands."

Amen! Realizing that the job of conversion does not belong to us but rather to Christ take a whole lot of weight off of us. Our job is simply to share the gospel. For it is the power of God!

Welcome back from your trip! It sounds like you had an amazing time!

Love & blessings!

Petra said...

Welcome back from your trip. You're right on target with this post. Why, oh why are we so concerned with what people think when it is God who really matters. I am guilty too and need to remember that God, who has created my mouth and brain, can certainly maneuver them to say the right things. Blessings!

Barbara Thayer said... raised the point that really the weight of salvation is not on our shoulders....we have only to share. Sounds we all need to get busy. I couldn't help but think about this as we were on our trip in Europe. Those tour guides could roll the facts off their tongues so easily. For those of us who love Jesus, we can do that too!!! Blessings my dear sister...and yes, our trip was a blessing. God was good to us.

Barbara Thayer said...

Petra my friend....I have asked myself so many times why I allow people to intimidate me when I serve the King of the Universe. I can talk about the weather and all sorts of unimportant things. Therefore, I need to apply my efforts to sharing the love I have for my Savior so that others can hear too. Thank you for your thoughts.....always enjoy seeing you. Blessings to you!