9.10.2014

The Assumption that Prevents Me from DECLARING

Psalm 96
People always tell me that I have a unique perspective on Christianity because (a) I didn't grow up in the church and (b) I come from an extremely atheist background. I would have to agree. However, I am starting to realize that this maybe isn't always a good thing.
 
If you know anything about being a Christian, you know that we are called to be missionaries. That we are COMMANDED to share the gospel, and DECLARE (Psalm 96) the Good News. Can I be real with you all for a moment? I am horrible at declaring. 
 
I have been praying to God for some time to help me with this. Help me share the good news with my friends, neighbors, cowokers, and family. Or at least reveal to me what is preventing me from doing so. 
 
There's an internal struggle when you know that good Christians are supposed to share the gospel. That Christians who TRULY know the gospel and Christ can't WAIT to share the gospel. Where was I failing? I truly believe that God died for our sins, and that we live in a broken world. So why was it so hard for me to tell others about His great sacrifice for us?
 
Well, recently, I think I realized what has been preventing me from declaring. 
 
My background has caused me to have this mentality, or assumption, that if someone has gotten this far in life without becoming a Christian, or knowing God, then it must be a conscious decision. They must have decided it wasn't for them. 
 
I am overly cautious of being that Christian. The one I wanted to run away and hide from when I was an atheist. I don't want to indoctrinate them if they don't want to be indoctrinated because I know for me, this pushed me further away from ever wanting to know Christ. It was off-putting.
 
I once heard someone say, "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." 
 
It has become so clear to me that these assumptions are what are preventing me from declaring all the good that God has done in my life. That I need to scrub off my windows so that the light can come in.

This assumption strikes me as funny because I didn't know Christ until I was 22. I HAD made the conscious decision NOT to be a Christian. However, something changed. I hate to think that I could be missing opportunities to change someone's WHOLE LIFE by not sharing the gospel with them because I am caught up in my faulty assumptions. What a SAD thought. 

So, I ask you all, would you pray for me? Would you pray that I would be able to overcome my own assumptions and declare all that He has done for me? 


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37 comments :

  1. I know the feeling of not wanting to be "that" Christian. I was raised Catholic (still am), but I have been approached by some of "those" Christians over the course of my life trying to change me from Catholic to other sects of Christianity. This has made me very hesitant to tell me story - about Jesus, my relationship with God, and why I am a Christian and (specifically) Catholic. I finally started getting over that my junior year of college, and actually posted about my religious experiences a few months ago - http://www.katethealmostgreat.com/2014/02/chronic-pain-and-god.html

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  2. I'm so glad you can relate girl... Going to read your post now!

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  3. I'm praying for you. My background was one where we didn't talk about faith. So when I started walking with God around 18, sharing my faith was so out of my comfort zone. Even when I was interning as a missionary, it was out of my comfort zone. Sharing just can be uncomfortable. The one thing I have learned is that people are interested in stories, your story, in fact. You have something to offer. Your story is more powerful than any "track." PS These are things I tell myself on the daily. LOL I will be praying for you.

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  4. Seriously! What a gift. Thanks for all of your comments today! :)

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  5. YES. However I also think our views are unique and can be really useful in approaching both Christians and nonbelievers!

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  6. Nina thank you so much for this. I needed to be reminded of this and it's comforting to know I'm not alone in this!!

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  7. This is such a wonderful article! And that quote is so powerful! I so can relate to the fear of being that Christian! But the good news is that not only do our words share the Gospel but so do our actions. Sometimes just the way we love, serve, give, laugh, and hope are enough to have others start asking questions!


    Praying that you would be free from fear and assumptions and share your life, the Gospel, your failures and freedom with those around you!

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  8. Oh girl. Oh, this. It's so rich.


    I grew up in church. I've seen the sharing and declaring done in dozens of ways. And, I've come to realize that we share and declare in so many different ways. For me, it's not so much in speaking directly about Him (like, hey, let's talk about God) but in being transparent that while life isn't perfect I have hope and that my source of hope is Him. Sometimes people ask about it, sometimes they just acknowledge that hope isn't easy (it's not, regardless of Him or not). I've tried sharing and declaring the same way other people do and, well, it's awkward and unbecoming to me and Him.


    He made us all unique. Maybe you're sharing and declaring and you just don't realize it! :) Or, more straightforward, you are, here and I'm sure in real life too. <3

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  9. Thanks Beth. I always try to live out the gospel regardless of if I am actively sharing it! Such a heavy thing to carry but much lighter than what Jesus did for us! Thank you for your encouragement.

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  10. Thank you Amber. Your support means so much as you are such a wonderful role model! My goal for this space was to use it to declare, especially for times when I felt like I couldn't in "real life," so you saying that means a lot! :)

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  11. I love this. I struggle with this as well, making very similar assumptions. It's hard. I think one area you may not realize that you are declaring is through your blog. The blog posts you share, the comments you make, and of course, the messages here on THIS VERY BLOG. I really believe those count. To this day, your statement, "Just an ordinary girl, saved by an extraordinary God." has been a statement that has stuck with me. I understand, though. I had someone once comment in church that too many Christians try to obey God without offending the devil. I think that's a human reaction that we all struggle with. LOVED this post.

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  12. Wow Sharlee, you sure know how to encourage a girl! I appreciate your genuine comments and you taking the time to notice all of these things. I'm so relieved to hear that others battle this same thing! You have made my day.

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  13. Oh, Cassie this is so beautifully written. What I love most is that it's so honest. I think even people raised in the Church struggle with this. I say this because I KNOW I struggle with this. I will definitely be praying for you, and seriously thank you so much for posting this. I think what's great is that you're TRYING. You're making the effort and asking for prayers is huge. Love you, girly!

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  14. Thanks Melissa :) I don't even know how to thank you for all of your encouragement and support. It's so nice to know that I can be honest and be supported in that. You're too sweet <333

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  15. I just love you and your sweet heart!! I'm praying for you friend,

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  16. Thank you for sharing your heart with us today, this definitely hit home with me. I have struggled with this SAME thing for years. More so lately. I was raised in a Christian home, but a lot things turned me off and I strayed for years. I always felt like I believed in God, but I had no relationship with Him and didn't want to hear about Him either. After I truly came to Christ and formed a relationship with him, about 3 years ago, I am the happiest I have ever been, I'm a changed person for sure. However I still struggle, with 2 things. One definitely being the issue of not wanting to be "that Christian" but more than anything, I feel inadequate. I feel like I can't bring to the table what other Christians can. I don't feel like I know the bible enough, like I have the right words and what it takes to truly share the gospel and bring people to Christ. I hate it, but it's the way I honestly feel. I need to get past this and know that I AM good enough to spread the word! That is the first time I think I've shared that... I will be praying for you Cassie! Thank you again for sharing, you really spoke to me today. I love that saying about assumptions, so true and something we all need to remember.

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  17. For some reason this comment didn't fully come through the first time... weird!

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  18. THANK YOU FOR SHARING MIA! Something our pastor always talks about is that we don't HAVE to have the right words today, we just have to be willing to trust that God will guide us in sharing Him. That HE has the right words to say and that His Spirit can guide us. I think I feel inadequate a lot of the time too, so I often have to remind myself of that truth. It takes a lot to share those feelings and I applaud you!

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  19. such a great great post!! and that quote on assumptions is perfect! God is so amazing and so great and i'm glad you are getting the chance to know him - this post is a step in the right direction telling people about his goodness and grace!!
    i don't think i realized it til your post that i too can shout out about him more to let the non believers know just how wonderful our God is, thanks! xo

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  20. So happy that I could stir that in you Laura. Thank you for your comment and encouragement. The comments on this post have been such a blessing to me today.

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  21. This is so beautiful Cassie. It's so interesting to hear people's backgrounds and where they have come from in their faith. I would totally feel the same way if I had come from an atheist background. Regardless of background, it is so hard to share the Gospel with people without feeling like you are over powering them and pushing your views. What I've learned though is that building relationships and friendships with people is the first step. So many times God has allowed the conversation about Him to come up so naturally in conversation after I thought it would never surface that way with a friend. He definitely knows how to use us! Praying for you sweet friend!

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  22. YES! I think building relationships with people should be the FIRST thought and then sharing the gospel with them. I don't think sharing the gospel is personal or effective unless there is some basis of a relationship with that person! Thank you Madison!

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  23. I grew up in Church but struggle with the same thing. Also, I think sometimes I get tired of how cliche other Christians make Jesus sound that I'm afraid of being lumped in there with them if I share about how He's impacted my life. I assume most everyone I come across has already heard the whole "spiel" and aren't interested in hearing it from me. Thank you for the reminder of how wrong I am and how much I need to depend on God to lead me in each conversation. He's been working all along in someone's life and knows at what point they might need to hear what He has me to say. Love your honesty.

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  24. I love reading this. First off, what an incredible blessing on how far you've come in your faith. Second, it's not just you. I grew up in the church. I can talk about Jesus all day long on my blog, or on Facebook, or with church friends, or people I know, but when it comes to sharing with strangers or busting out of my comfort zone (hence my bravery post the other day) I'm a huge chicken. I'm praying hard for myself too, that God would push me out of my bubble and teach me how to share His love more freely...we ARE called to make disciples. And I feel like our churches are full of people just filling up pews, going to church because that's the right thing to do. None of us are discipling the next person...and that's not the way it should be. We're missing out on so much.


    And I agree with Amber--in the meanwhile, while I'm gathering up my courage, I'm just going to try to keep living a life that shows Him. And pray that I learn how to disciple. I'll be praying for you, too, sister. Proud of you!

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  25. This perspective is so thought provoking. I grew up in a Christian home, Dad was a pastor. I feel like I've never been good at sharing my faith because I tend to take it for granted. Sure I was raised to tell people about the Lord, it was always a priority in our home. In fact, my parents are now missionaries! But sometimes I wish I knew a time in my life without the Lord. I wonder if it would make me more on fire to tell others about His salvation...

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  26. You're so welcome. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your story with me too :)

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  27. RACHEL thank you so much for this. I love reading different perspectives on this topic, and learning that most others also struggle with this! I have been forever grateful for my small church plant where we are held accountable and asked how we are doing with thinks like sharing the gospel regularly. Such a blessing to me. I will be praying for you as well my friend :)

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  28. That is really interesting to think about! I'm glad I could get you thinking about this :)

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  29. Those two quotes are incredible! I think sometimes it's hard to declare or share because you DON'T want to come across as preachy or forceful, because then people get turned off. I try to daily show my faith through kindness and very often I fail, but I still try.

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  30. Aren't they? I can definitely relate.

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  31. What a great post. I struggled with the same thing, Cassie and I was a PK (preacher's kid). It was really hard for me growing up, and sometimes it is still hard. I will pray for you and pray for The Lord to also give the you the proper words to say with wisdom and humilty which are so very important when sharing the Gospel to others.

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  32. Yes I will be praying for you! I This is something that is hard for many people. I know I struggle with this at times. We have an outreach team at our church and it is for sure out of my comfort zone but as you said, I feel this is something that we as Christians are suppose to be doing- spreading the message and love of Christ!

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  33. THANK YOU. I can completely relate to that being out of your comfort zone, I feel so similarly sometimes!

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  34. CASSIE. So much I want to say. First of all- I need a coffee/wine date with you soon. Second- I grew up in a Christian home and yet I struggle with the same thing... my mom is the kind of person who will literally tell ANYONE and EVERYONE about Christ and what He's done in and for her life and honestly? Sometimes I've questioned her doing so... like, "What if she's really just freaking them out??" (That's hard for me to admit because more times than not I wish I could be that way!) It's easy for me to talk about my faith on my blog because I don't have to see people 'x' out of it if they don't want to read it, and I don't have to see the facial expressions of people who don't understand or like what I have to say... and it's safe (although not easy- it's still scary to share!) But so many times I've felt so disappointed in myself for NOT talking to people about Him more. After all, that's what this life is about to me. Sharing and spreading His love and just as you say- Declare all of the things God has done for me and my life and my heart. And yet more times than not I keep quiet and just hope that they can "see Jesus in me" and that of COURSE I'll talk about it if they ask me!!! (So not the way it always works.) I'm working so hard on breaking free from fears I've created myself and to KNOW the people I meet. To ask the deeper questions... and to feel safe sharing the answers I've found true to be in my life.


    Lots of prayers for you. You are not alone in this. I'll be cheering for you on the sidelines... see you there ;) XO

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  35. I think you just summed up my feelings as well in this comment. Sometimes are actions aren't enough and we really do need to take a risk and share him! Thanks for you support lady! We do need a wine date! hahaha

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