I don’t follow it as closely as I used to, but I’ve been a pretty big fan of American Idol since around its second season nearly 20 years ago.
I’ve always been big into music and so it’s fun to see each week which songs the singers are going to try, and then judging whether I like it or not. I’ll even pick out a few favorite contestants each year and have occasionally gone online to download the songs they just performed.
It has also been a TV show that my mom and I have bonded over since she has watched it since the very beginning. Even today I’ll send her a text here and there telling her who my favorites are and who I think will win it all.
I’ll go so far as to share some of the American Idol performances with my friends who aren’t fans of the show just because I think they might like that particular rendition of a song.
When it gets down to it though, that’s actually the fun part of American Idol and anything else that we might be a fan of. Whether it’s a TV show, a musical artist, a movie, a good book, or a sporting event, the real fun to me is sharing about all of it and discussing it with others.
Sure, you could probably enjoy many of those activities by yourself. But I find that there’s even more enjoyment when you get the chance to tell your friends all about something and then see what they think about it as well.
Some of my interests include the Kentucky Wildcats, video games, listening to music and pro wrestling. So it’s not uncommon for me to preach to a friend and say, “Hey you need to go try this Nintendo game. I think you’d love it!” Or I might say something like, “Hey have you ever heard of this band? I really think you’d enjoy some of their songs!”
They might end up thinking I was completely wrong, but I often feel compelled to share some of my interests like that anyway.
So why is it so much different when it comes to sharing the Gospel with others? God is way more important than any of those hobbies, but yet I’ve certainly found myself chickening out and being bashful when it comes to spreading the Good News.
I don’t even give it a second thought when I tell someone that they need to try a new game or listen to a new song. But when it comes to inviting someone to church who might really need it, I immediately start second-guessing myself.
I wonder if I’ll offend them by talking about God. I wonder if they’re too busy or don’t want to hear about anything spiritual. I also fear that if I mess up that I might blow their best chance of coming to know the Lord. And I’m also downright afraid they’ll just laugh in my face.
To overcome these worries, though, I think we should consider that the Apostle Paul said about dealing with his own fears.
Ephesians 6:18-20 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
It’s difficult to imagine that Paul would have struggled with fear, but he was just as much human as the rest of us. The devil tried to intimidate him and manipulate him just like he tries to do with everyone else. But Paul was able to overcome those fears and overcome the devil by taking it all to the Lord in prayer.
And I believe that when we find ourselves struggling with these fears, that’s exactly what we need to do and exactly what God wants us to do. We need to pray for boldness and for strength when God is urging us to share the Gospel with others.
Even if it seems scary. Even if it might cost us money or some other worldly opportunity. The reward of helping lead lost souls to Jesus should far outweigh any fear or opposition we face for sharing the hope we have in the Lord.