“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,” (Ephesians 6:19 NIV)
I love those words from Paul. He wanted to be fearless. It suggests that there were times he struggled to share Christ with others. He asked for prayer because he knew his fear took over his will at times. He knew if he were going to spread the gospel, it was going to take the prompting and strength of the Holy Spirit. He lived these words spoken by Jesus, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(Matt.26:41 NIV)
Last year, Jonah boldly told his class when he grows up he wants to be a Christian musician and spread the word of the Lord. He never told me this story, but his teacher did. She went on to say he wasn’t embarrassed or anything. I tend to agree with her. I probably would have been embarrassed, but he wasn’t. Ignorance is bliss, right?
That was a year ago. Now he is in public middle school. The environment is less wholesome. The kids are becoming rebellious. And Jonah is trying to find where he fits, or if he fits. Yesterday, I picked him up from school. He was in a great mood telling me about his day. Mostly, he talked about his new friend. He’s been talking about him for a week now. They have a couple of classes together, including band. And they eat lunch together along with some other friends. I asked if his new friend was a Christian and he said he doesn’t know. But he did say, “He doesn’t cuss or anything. He’s just like me.” You’ve got to love that kid!
I didn’t say anything to him at the time, but I wonder if he’ll want to invite his new friend to church or youth group. Maybe he will invite him to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes bible study they have at his school. He probably will because Jonah is fearless. He cares nothing about the opinions of others. And he deeply cares about those he calls friends.
I heard someone say the other day…”Someday he (speaking of a teenager) will be a great man of God.” Why do kids have to grow up in order to be people of God? Why can’t they be witnesses right where they are? I don’t think we give them enough credit or encourage them enough to share the love of Christ. We keep them from bad influences instead of explaining the reality of our sinful world. I mean if we opened their eyes instead of shielding them, perhaps they would learn to see the needs of others.
Parenting is never easy. And I don’t have all the answers. But lately, I have really been thinking about the fact that my kids are surrounded by a lost world just as I am. If I continually keep them from seeing the truth, how will they ever grow hearts of compassion? I don’t want them to think the Christian walk is about a set of rules. I want them to see it’s about real people and investing in the lives God puts in our path. They matter to God and they should matter to us.
I don’t know how Jonah will do in middle school. He’s off to a good start. Of course my hope is for him to be bold in his faith. But the reality is, he may very well shy away blending into the crowd. I hope not. I want him to stand out and stand up for Christ. So, I am praying for my boy to be fearless!
- Everything Beautiful (adisplayofsplendor.com)
- Can Anything Good Come from Sin? (adisplayofsplendor.com)
- Repentance with Jesus paves the path for rebuilding trust (gettingclosertoourgod.com)