Revealing Your Hope (Introvert safe)

As we enter into Christmas time my mind tends to drift on how work is coming soon and how I can be a better witness in that environment. As I was considering it I remembered a strategy God has been laying on my heart over the years and wanted to share it with you.

One of the well know wintering exhortations in the Bible is Peter’s statement (given here in the amplified Bibles rendering):
“But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

Notice the pattern. First we demonstrate hope and confident assurance, then others are interested then we give a logical defense or explanation of that hope. Now. the typical pattern in Christian circles is one of two ways. One way is taking the demonstration part as a kind of excuse we know the adage “Always preach the gospel use words when necessary”. Well for the users of this adage it often becomes more like “you are demonstrating the gospel, don’t worry about it!”.

The other tendency is to develop tools of using the gospel then to throw them at others hap-hazard. Good tools have been developed this way but when used in a door-to-door type way it tends to be less and less effective to those who you know more closely. No one just wants to be a target of your evangelistic crusade…

The third way, which I think is closer to Peter’s meaning is focusing on two things:

  1. Being prepared to explain and logically defend our hope (the Gospel).
  2. Working to reveal our hope to others.

I want to focus on #2 today.  In my experience our hope isn’t usually revealed through us quietly passing our days in our cubical next to the people we work with. Even with our John 3:16 computer screen saver! This is because our culture has lost a lot of the community and life sharing of previous generations, we are so connected to social media we often forget the value of talking about real things with our coworkers. Typical conversations revolve around sports or on non-controversial parts of the news. Whatever is safe enough to be enjoyable and pass the lunch hour peacefully…

So how do we reveal our hope in this environment? Below are some tips I’ve learned:

  1. Have certain goals like:
    • Revealing we are a Christian.
    • Revealing our real struggles and how we deal with them.
    • Revealing what gives us joy.
    • Revealing our encouragement for work and the things we do (I find this is especially helpful since our generation seems to often be without motivation for our daily tasks)
  2. Spend some time considering these things, for me this is during my daily time with the Lord.
  3. Look and pray for opportunities.

Notice that there is no magic in these three things. It really depends on if your life is worth looking at. Does your relationship with Jesus really make an impact on your life? If not then probably that is the place to start. If your life is a changed one, then in my experience people will be shocked as they learn about the depth that’s there and they will also be more open to share in their struggles with you. This is wonderful for cultivating authentic relationships and it lets you see some of the beauty that Christ is working in your life as you walk with Him.

If you did look at your life today and saw you are lacking in some areas so that you really don’t feel comfortable sharing with others then consider bringing this before the Lord. For helps on how to grow I would encourage you to check out http://discipleshiplibrary.com/ there are some great talks and resources there. My posts here are also geared to this effect so please feel free to explore the site and read and send me questions.

 

Immanuel, God is with us. May He bless you today.

 

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