Are you an evangelist? The Great Commission applies to every believer. Where do you begin? You have certain doctrines that you consider essential to your faith, so you may be tempted to begin there, cutting to the chase, so to speak. But your audience may not be ready for that. Education typically proceeds in a logical progression, building concept upon concept. Evangelism is a type of education, and people learn what they don’t know by comparison to what they do know.
Do you face opposition to the advancement of your faith? Do you identify this as coming from your spiritual adversary known as the accuser? Is this a doctrinal position, or something you have a conscious awareness of in real life? The opposition is real enough. Do you see it more as external resistance or internal resistance? Can you identify sources of external resistance? What about internal resistance? Can you examine your own fears, biases, prejudices, narrow, lazy, sloppy, or self-serving thinking, and realize how these things are holding you back?
Do you like stability and predictability? Do you like to be comfortable? These things are generally preferred, but if these are your primary goals you will live a life that is too small for you. Growth requires exposure to the new and unfamiliar. There is no predictability in new situations, and you cannot expect to be proficient in new tasks on your first attempt. Don’t let this fear discourage you from moving onward. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first. How else would you start? I have called you to follow me, but everywhere I lead you I will be beside you and support you.
Do you like things that are entertaining? Do you find things that are informative to be more helpful, for they enlarge your understanding? Is there yet another step to take? What about things that are profound? Informative sources give you facts, but things that are profound address transcendent subjects in an articulate way. Their truth is enduring rather than transient. Truth that is forever is more important than that which is only true today. Haven’t you observed this already?
Do you normally think of courage as a virtue of soldiers? Is it possible to be courageous if you are not a soldier? Are you a courageous person? Combat is a special category, but even in everyday life it is possible to show moral courage, and even here there is a distinction. If the culture, or the crowd you are in, is going in the wrong direction you can part company and follow the path you regard as true according to your own conscience. And there is still another distinction, for you can do this silently, or you can speak out against what you see as the wrong direction.
Do you have a title? How strongly do you identify with your title? Do you know that I never wore a nametag? You may say they hadn’t been invented yet, but there were indicators of rank and status in my day, but I didn’t have any of them. If I had worn a nametag what would have been written on it? You have many titles for me, but the one I chose for myself was the Son of Man. Does this seem like the least grand of all the descriptions that you could apply to me? It is not wrong to hold an office, but you should be wary of the influence a title has on you. Is it enough to be my child?
Do you like ice cream? This favorite desert is famous for coming in many flavors. Do you think love comes in flavors too? You know what sacrificial generosity and kindness look like when you see them. Is there a Baptist way to take in a stranger? A Presbyterian way to feed the hungry? A Muslim way to visit those who are sick or in prison? These acts of kindness are not related to doctrine or dogma. Perhaps this is the moral of the story of the Good Samaritan. Does it bother you when people who believe the wrong things do the right things? It shouldn’t. There is only one flavor of love.
Can you afford to be generous? The Biblical pattern of the same percentage for all whether rich or poor recognizes that different people have different amounts of money, and is an expression of equal sacrifice rather than equal giving. I made an observation about a widow who gave the smallest amount of money possible but I said that she had given more than the rich who had given out of their excess, where she had given out of her necessity. In doing so I suggested that even equal percentage giving did not tell the whole story.
Are you concerned about contagious diseases? It is appropriate to practice good hygiene, but diseases are not the only thing that can be spread. Have you ever been in a group in which someone suddenly expresses anxiety or fear and the entire group becomes ‘infected’ with the same attitude? Such attitudes can spread faster than diseases. Do you have immunity to diseases of this type? It is good if you can avoid such an infection. It is better still if you can be a carrier of the antidote. Are you a carrier of infectious calmness and peace?
Do you see me everywhere you look? Have you ever moved forward into an uncertain future and had things work out better than you expected? Could you see looking back that I was present and involved in ways that were not obvious to you looking forward? If this happens consistently then you should learn to trust the concept that I am with you and watching over you even if you are not aware of it at the time. Moses asked to see me and for his own sake I had him hide in the rocks so he could only see my back and not my front.