When Christians Beat Themselves Up
Many faithful Christians often beat themselves up over things they feel they cannot do in the work of the Lord, and it leads to excessive worry and concern that can be spiritually damaging. I personally have had numerous Christians approach me voicing their concern about not being able to effectively evangelize and preach to people. Their concern leads them to be worried about their soul’s salvation. I believe some of this is the fault of gospel preachers. We often pound the pulpit demanding that members be actively evangelizing everyday. Now, let me be clear. All Christians are responsible for studying God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15), sharing the truth of the gospel if the opportunity presents itself, and defending the hope we have in Christ Jesus. The apostle Peter wrote, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15). But, we must realize that not every Christian is an evangelist just like every Christian cannot be an elder, deacon, or pulpit preacher.
Every Christian should have the desire to teach the truth, but some are just not equipped with the ability to do it as well as others. Some evangelists may not have the ability to give much or exhort as well as people who possess those talents. The apostle Paul stated, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:11). Notice Paul said that Jesus gave “some” to be evangelist. All Christians can evangelize to some degree and in many different ways, but that does not mean they are blessed with the ability to be an evangelist in the official sense of the word Paul was using.
Paul told the Romans “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom. 12:4-8). Paul is telling us that each member is blessed with different abilities, so Christians should find the abilities God has blessed them with and “use them”. Some may not be able to preach or evangelize; but they can give, exhort, serve, teach, or show mercy. Some of us may not be able to evangelize as effectively as others, but we must remember that we are indirectly teaching the truth when we diligently use the abilities God has given us for His glory. People are watching the way we live, and they notice what motivates us to live and act the way we do.
We need to change our mindset regarding the way we live our lives when we are away from the assembly of the saints. We encounter the danger of leaving our spiritual life at the church building and then label Monday through Saturday as our “secular” life. If we are living the way Christ expects, and knows we are capable of, then our everyday life should be evangelistic in nature. Think about this! When men are loving husbands and train their children in the way of the Lord, are they bringing glory to the Lord and evangelizing (Eph. 5:25; Eph. 6:4)? They are! When women profess godliness in their lives, respect their husbands, and faithfully care for their children; are they evangelizing through their example (Eph. 5:23; 1 Tim. 2:9; Titus 2:4,5)? They are! When Christians go to work and do their absolute best to serve God and bring glory to him through their work, are they serving the Lord (1 Cor. 10:31)? They are! When those Christians go to work each day to earn money to provide for their family and give to the church, are they serving and working for the Lord (1 Tim. 5:8)? They most definitely are! God has given us all different talents and abilities, so we must use the ones we have been blessed with to bring glory to God and His Kingdom. -Ed