The Reason Why
Years ago, after I first started driving, anytime I left to go somewhere, either by myself or with friends, my mother would always say "Be careful." At first, I would simply reply, "I will," but after a certain period of time I found myself becoming irritated by my mother's loving admonition to be safe. Maybe I was irritated because I thought she was treating me like a young child; perhaps it was because I thought she was being overprotective. Maybe it was just the capriciousness of youth--I don't remember anymore. But now, as I think back, I realize the reason why my mother always told me to "be careful" as I walked out the door.

You see, every time I left to go somewhere, my mother could have said to me, "Son, I love you, and I don't want anything to happen to you. I don't want to receive a call telling me that you have been hurt or killed. I don't want this to be the last time I see you. Be mindful of where you go and what you do. I want you to return safely home." My mother could have said all those words every time I left the house, but she didn't have to. All she had to say was, "Be careful." I may not have understood the reason why then, but now that I am older those two words speak volumes to me.

When you think about it, there are a few ways in which my mother's cautionary words are like sharing the gospel.

For instance, when we share the gospel with others they may not understand the reason why we do so. We may even irritate the people whom we are trying to lead to Christ. In their eyes, it may seem as though we are picking on them, or that we are trying to prove that we are right and they are wrong. It may seem as though we're saying that we are better than they are, or they could have a host of other misperceptions. Of course, if we are not honest and sincere in our efforts to share the gospel, they may be right!

Furthermore, when sharing the gospel with others, it is not uncommon for one to encounter some degree of resistance. We may even be viewed as an enemy because of the truth we share (e.g., Gal. 4:16), and the resistance may be hostile. When faced with strong resistance, it is a good idea to remind both ourselves and the people to whom we are reaching out the reasons why we are sharing the gospel:

  1. We share the gospel with others because we've been instructed to do so. (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16; II Tim. 4:1,2; I Pet. 3:15).
  2. We share the gospel with others because it is the power of God to salvation (Rom. 1:16).
  3. We share the gospel with others because we love them, we care about them, we care about their soul, and we do not want them to be separated from God in the next life. As the inspired apostle Paul wrote, "Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1:28).

And sometimes, when faced with such love, care, compassion, sincerity, and honesty, even the hardest of hearts will melt and yield, leaving fertile ground for the gospel to take root.

Dear listeners, when you share the gospel with others, keep in mind that they may not realize the true reason why you are doing so. Perhaps you have tried to share the gospel with someone and met opposition. Why not try again, and take the time to tell them the reason why you want to share the gospel of truth with them.