Have you ever felt frustrated because your efforts to share your religious convictions with a friend or family member were going nowhere? I know exactly how you feel. In fact, one of my friends recently asked me for tips or suggestions for her situation. Her friend had abandoned the Christian faith, and she felt that nothing she said made a difference. After giving her some suggestions that pertained to her unique relationship with her friend, I offered her some perspective that I hope might help you too, if you find yourself feeling frustrated.
Whenever you share your faith with someone, try to remember your responsibility is to tell them the truth, not make them believe what you believe. I like how Mother Teresa put it: “God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” It’s not your job to convince someone of your point or get them to convert to Christianity. It’s your job to present the truth in a persuasive and gracious way and then leave the results up to God. Don’t be committed to the end result, but rather to your part of the equation. Your job is simply to be an ambassador of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20), and it’s up to the Holy Spirit to convict people of sin, change their hearts and minds, and bring them to repentance.
Having this mindset can help you in three ways.
- It will help you to not feel as frustrated. If it’s not your job to get people to repent or change their mind, you won’t feel bad when they reject God’s message you’re communicating.
- It helps you focus on becoming a more effective ambassador for Christ, as Scripture has called you to be. Think about how you can improve. At Stand to Reason, we often say that ambassadors need to be effective in three areas: knowledge, wisdom, and character. Make it your goal to become better in those three areas.
- It places the responsibility—and the credit—where it belongs: with God. Not only are you not at fault for a person’s unbelief, but you’re also not credited for a person’s salvation. This helps prevent guilt and pride.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about being a jerk for Jesus. If you come across as harsh, offensive, or condescending, then you’re not doing your job at being an effective ambassador for Christ. Remember, you still do something—represent Jesus and communicate the Gospel. If you’re faithful to carry out your part of the equation, then you don’t need to take a person’s rejection of your message personally. Leave the results up to God.