Emotions are inseparable part of our lives. We are emotional beings. Dr. Bill Bright devoted one page to that topic in his booklet “Have you heard of the four spiritual laws?” “Do not depend on feelings”. In the last days I looked at these words from completely new perspective.
About two weeks ago we decided to do something, that we did not do till now: we went to the streets to share Christ. We had an earlier experience of sharing Christ with people whom we did not know in dorms or beaches, but this time we wanted to see how it would look like to talk to the strangers in the streets. We have never did it in the town where we live, because it felt against the culture. We managed to encourage our disciples to be part of this different approach. It seemed to us that the time before Christmas is good to do it, the atmosphere and the Christmas market in the middle of the town seemed to support that idea.
So on Saturday, on a sunny day of December, we divided our group into pairs and went into the town. Of course from all our group of 12 only my husband and I had an experience in such sharing. The rest of the team were more or less scared and did it for the first time in their lives.
After an hour we met again to share with the group how it went. And during that sharing time something hit me. It was the way people shared about their evangelistic experience. The most important thing in the sharing was emotions. Of course it was very natural, that was very strong experience for them. Even to come there on Saturday they needed to overcome their fears, to do something against their personality. But when we gathered, I looked forward to hear that it was not so terrible, that the conversations were more important from the fear that accompanied them.
The thing that hit me was a sentence repeated by many as a refrain, that “that way of sharing is not my gift”, that is not what “I want to do”,” not my style”, “I FEEL BAD WITH IT”. Only two from the whole group said that they FELT good because of their extroverted personality, they did not have problems in general to start the conversation with strangers no matter where they meet them.
To be honest with you I need to admit that after that hour of trying to start conversations with strangers and trying to share Christ to them, I FELT AWFUL.
The question I asked myself was: “Does it how I feel with something testify if that something is good or bad?”
Or putting it in other words: If I feel bad with something, is that thing bad?
I have noticed that and I am sorry to say that for the most of the participants of our Saturday outreach, the matter of HOW they felt about sharing Christ with strangers on the street, became more important than them being OBEDIENT to the will of God to go and share the Gospel. HOW did they feel unfortunately influenced their decision to not share Christ in this way anymore.
One can say that may be that is not a tragedy, they still can find other different ways. They will talk to their friends, family, and colleagues. Sharing Christ in the streets is difficult and inefficient and so on.
I think that this situation uncovered a problem: my emotions versus obedience to God. Am I going to be obedient to God only when I feel good with it and when I do not feel good I will find thousands of rational reasons why I shall not do it?
Somebody told me that everybody needs to try to share Christ in the streets, to see if he FEELS good with it. She (that person) tried it and she knows that she does not want to do it because she FELT bad with it.
Why that hit me so strong:
- First, Jesus said “go and make disciples “ Mt 28:18, so if I am a disciple of Jesus I am obedient no matter what emotions I have.
- Sharing the Gospel is not an easy task, emotions will always accompany it. My personal experience is that I very rarely felt good when I went sharing (I have never felt good). I felt good only knowing that I did something that God is pleased with.
After that Saturday I realized that I know too many Christians who are hidden in their comfort zones and do only things they feel good doing. And that filled me with sorrow.
I was thinking of how I personally follow Jesus. Do I choose to be obedient to Him only when I feel good about it and when it is too demanding or too difficult I am withdrawing?
When Jesus came to the earth and was born in a stable, growing up in a poor family and died on the cross, He did it because he felt good with it or because He was obedient to the Father?
In this Christmas time I wish to all of us that: “The promise (and commandments) of God’s Word, the Bible – not our feelings – is (shall be) our authority.”