Looking for a way to buildup your Gospel-sharing courage? Have you considered visualization? Forming mental pictures and scripts of what might transpire when you discuss your faith with others can help you relax and remain focused when opportunities to present the Gospel arise.
I have used visualization for many purposes over the years. Before I interview for a job, I visualize what the interviewer will look like. I visualize what the interviewing room will look like. I try to picture myself answering with confidence and poise. When I enter a running competition, I constantly visualize myself crossing the finish line at a certain “goal” time. And when I want to avoid getting a traffic ticket, I picture a police officer handing me a citation on the side of the road as people drive by laughing at my predicament.
God gave us a powerful brain. Proverbs 11:30 (NIV) tells us that, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” We prove we are wise when we seek to tell others the Good News of Salvation. James 5:20 (NIV) repeats the call for us to have Gospel-sharing at the top of our to-do-list: “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins”
God’s Word has called us to use our brain power to reach out to those on the wide path of destruction. By mentally preparing for the verbal jousting that often takes place when we share our faith in Jesus, we can formulate our responses based on scripture and love, ignoring the urge to become angry or defensive.
Let’s say you have a friend named Debbie, and she is a devout atheist who will listen to other opinions, but she always has a quick rebuttal to any claim that a deity exist. By trying to visually formulate Debbie’s responses in advance of any conversations that might, spontaneously or planned, come about in the near future, you can use wisdom and self-control to present your beliefs with a loving and sincere heart. Debbie will have more respect for someone willing to stand their ground with knowledge and sensitivity. If the Lord shines through your presentation, there must be a Lord to shine.
Now, let’s look at another kind of friend. You have a friend named Steve who never wants to talk about religion, but he is into paranormal phenomena. By visualizing how a discussion with Steve concerning paranormal phenomena found in the Bible might lead to an interesting exchange of ideas, you may uncover a way to inspire Steve to take a look at some of the miracles discussed in the Bible. Your imagined verbal conversation could lead to a myriad of opportunities to motivate Steve into examining the most paranormal story ever told.
Use different scenarios in your head to stimulate your imagination and your determination to inspire those around you to seek out the same path that has set you free form the shackles of sin and death. Like a firefighter trying to save a child from a burning building, it is our duty to use all that God has given us to bring His children back home where they belong.