It Feels Like Elementary School All Over Again…

     I’ve never liked being in front of people.  It has always made me terribly nervous.  I’ve always been afraid that I’ll forget what I wanted to say and say something completely different.  Often, I do!  I can remember back to  my days in elementary school in California.  Every October, we held what was called American Heritage Day.  Each child had to choose and dress up as a character from American history.  The fourth through the sixth grades had to write and recite a speech about their particular character.  The students in the class who gave the best speeches were chosen to compete in front of the whole school.  I didn’t mind the dressing up part.  That was fun.  I wasn’t worried about giving my speech in front of the entire school.  I knew I would never be chosen.  What I dreaded was standing in front of my class to give my speech.  I was petrified!

     You weren’t allowed to have your speech in front of you for your final grade.  Everything had to be said from memory.  The teacher wanted expression in your voice and on your face.  It was so hard for me to do!  If I did one or both of those, then I couldn’t remember the speech!

     Only a couple of things got me through the speech each year.  One was knowing that I had to do it.  There was no way of getting out of it.  For some reason, Mom and Dad always backed the teacher instead of me.  The other was knowing that Mom and Dad were pleased that I had done it.  They weren’t particularly concerned with my acting skills.  They were more concerned that I learned to obey them and the teacher with the right attitude.  I did not want to recite that speech.  Not because I didn’t want to do a good job, but because I thought I couldn’t.

     Sometimes we are so afraid to witness to the lost around us.  We’re afraid we won’t do a good job giving the speech.  We’re afraid that we might say the wrong thing, and they won’t like us. Sometimes it doesn’t go as perfectly as we planned it in our heads.  Sometimes, maybe we do say the wrong thing.  But witnessing is not the same as giving a speech about someone in history that we have never met.  Witnessing is telling someone of the Savior who has changed our lives so completely. 

     We can be a witness in the power of the Holy Spirit.  We can take the truth of the Gospel and introduce people to the Christ that can save them.  The Gospel isn’t a speech.  It’s a Person.  Some Christians say, “I know all of that, but I’m still so nervous.  I’m not a good speaker.”  Well, Moses tried that.  God didn’t let him out of it either.

     You can be a witness.  You can tell others how Christ forgave your sin and saved you from hell.  The Lord even said He would go with you in Matthew 28:18-20.  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I command you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Why not start this week, by carrying some Gospel tracts and simply saying, “Excuse me, I’d like for you to have this.”  It’s as simple as that.  Please the Lord with soul-winning.