Recently a friend of mine gave me some painful, but perhaps truthful advice: “Stop preaching so much on Facebook, I find it offensive.” Ouch. That hurt. But rather than send back a quick, “Look! I’ll post what I want, when I want” reply, I considered her words. I prayed about them. I let them sink in. I talked with a couple of other friends and then I did what I thought I didn’t have the courage to do: I took her advice.
Now I know what some of you may be thinking: “Betsy, you caved.” “Betsy, don’t stop what you’re doing.” It’s okay. Really. I haven’t stopped believing in Jesus or in his power to change lives or to give purpose and true meaning to life. I actually believe it now more than ever.
I thought about her “rebuke” again this morning as something God might be using to get my attention: “Betsy, just how real and how deep is your faith in me?” For the past couple of weeks I’ve been wrestling with this – Do I strive to come up with some clever, catchy phrase on some social media outlet to get my friends to “like” it or am I truly living my faith in front of her and all of you? And when do I live it out loud, full on or when do I quietly follow my Savior as he leads me in a deeper walk with Him? The person I never want to offend is Jesus. I’m not ashamed of Him and yet at the same time, I don’t want to cheapen my relationship with Him by turning my faith into a clever Facebook pitch about Him.
I’m realizing that I don’t have to defend Him. Do I get excited about Him? YES!!! Do I want you to know Him? YES!!!!! But, I also know I’m to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks me to give the reason for the hope that I have, but to do it with gentleness and respect.” Gentleness. That word doesn’t seem to have anything in it that has to do with being loud. Sure, yes. Loud, no.
Look, I love my friend who told me to tone it down. I also love all of you, really I do. But what I want most of all is, to know in my heart I love Him more than anyone or any moment of cleverness that I may dream up, all in the name of sharing my faith.
I’m praying for you that you would communicate and live in such a way that others will know just how much you love Him as He does you. Sometimes you may be called to shout it from the rooftop and other times, you may be called to whisper his name to no one else but you.
Betsy lives in Orlando with her husband, Matt. They’ve been on staff with Cru for 17 years. She began blogging in 2012 simply as a way to share what Jesus has been teaching her in life. If you really want to get her attention, ask her to go play golf sometime when you’re in Central Florida!
For more posts, visit www.betsyguilford.wordpress.com