NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

Why Share?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dannysullivan/4544087069

So I asked my sister what should I post about today, and she enthusiastically suggested that I share one of her favorite webcomics with my blog audience. It’s a comic that she has been following for over a year and it doesn’t have a huge fanbase so she is always trying to tell other people about it. It’s something she enjoys and she wants everyone around her to know about it, especially because not a lot of people know how great it is. So, I will share the comic’s link at the end of this post, but what I actually want to write about is why we share in the first place.

You see when I hear sharing, I usually think of two little kids fighting over a toy and an adult telling them they need to share. But after that scenario stops buzzing around in my head, I think of what does it mean to share your faith. Since I follow Jesus, and have been for quite a few years, I’ve heard this phrase more than a few times. “Share your faith… go and share your faith… just share your faith” but what does it mean to share your faith? It’s got to be more than pressing a Share button on Facebook. So how do you do it, and more importantly, why do you do it?

My sister bouncing next to me in her enthusiasm to share her favorite webcomic is not how I would describe most Christian’s reaction to “sharing their faith.” It somehow seems a lot easier to share our favorite movies, books, or TV shows rather than our faith. Maybe it’s because of fear. It’s a lot easier to accept that someone else doesn’t enjoy the same entertainment you do, but when they don’t understand something that makes you who you are, well that’s hard. And it’s hard for everybody, not just Christians. It’s hard to open up and be honest about what is really most important to you, what has shaped you and made you who you are. It can be scary to let people in, tell them about being bullied or abused, or that you’ve had a divorce or whatever.

So I think that’s one reason why it can be hard to do, but it can also be hard if you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Your motivation for why you do something is so critical to your enjoyment or hatred of doing it. I think a lot of Christians feel pressured to “share their faith” because they’re just “supposed to,” and they don’t enjoy doing it anymore than someone told to share their personal thoughts, just because they should. It’s not comfortable.

But what do people enjoy sharing, and when do they enjoy sharing it? As with my sister, people enjoy sharing something that they like, that’s good and beneficial and well, enjoyable. It you just tried a new restaurant and they have the best burgers you’ve ever tasted, telling other’s about it just feels natural. But you might not go up to the first random person you see and tell them, “You have to try this restaurant!” More likely, you’ll tell your friends. And yes maybe the occasional stranger if it comes up in conversation.

And I think this is more of what it looks like to share your faith as a Christian. It shouldn’t be a burden but a joy. It’s you telling the people around you who you know and care about, what God is doing in your life. You’re telling people about how you were worried about finances or a job interview or whatever is going on in your life, and you asked God for help, and what do you know, He did! That’s exciting and it’s alright to share that with people even if they aren’t Christians. And honestly, that is much more appealing to hear than someone telling you why you should believe what they believe.

In fact I have a real example from today. I’ve been raising support to go on a Mission Trip to Mozambique this fall. But for the past several weeks, I’ve seemed to hit a wall in my support. I was starting to worry about how to get the remaining money and what else I could do to raise it. So I asked for prayer, specifically that God would provide what I needed and give my heart peace. Then this morning, out of the blue, my cousin texted me and asked about how the support was going and how he could help. It was a literal answer to prayer and I was overjoyed! God is so good and I’m so happy that He showed me that I don’t have to raise support on my own. He has all I need and He will provide it.

So I know that was a long post, and I still want to share the webcomic that my sister asked me to, so here it is: http://www.thesilvereye.com/comic/chapter-1-cover-4/

But I hope this little post helped take some of the pressure off for you to “share,” and helps you know that sharing your life with people and letting them know what is going on and what God is doing is something you can enjoy.

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Lessons from Haiti: Finding the Good

I’m coming down to the end of this blog series. Friday was our last full day in Haiti, so after this post I’ll only have one more! Wow! Well let’s get started.

Day 8: Finding the Good

taptap

This day was very different from any of the other days in Haiti. Our work projects were pretty much over, and there were ideas of doing more vacation-like activities; like climbing the mountain next to the camp, visiting an old fort nearby, or going to the beach again. The night before, several people had planned on getting up super early and climbing the mountain. I was surprised that all of the girls in our cabin wanted to do it. I didn’t feel much like getting up early, and I said I wouldn’t go, but after a short night sleep, I awakened with a strong longing to not miss out. So I got up with everyone else and went to the pavilion to wait for the mountain guide.

We sat, and waited, and sat some more and waited some more. But nothing happened. The sun began to rise, the animals began to make their morning noises, but still no guide came. My excitement dimmed and the thought of returning to bed became more and more attractive. Finally I gave up and said I was going back to sleep. I found out later that only a few people actually went up the mountain, and most just climbed the shorter hill where the cross stood. So I didn’t feel too bad about sleeping a couple more hours, but there was still a small sense of regret that I had missed out. In addition to this regret I started to feel a little sick. It wasn’t horrible, but it was enough to make it hard to enjoy my last day on the island.

And this is where the choice came in. I think everyone has a choice about how they view their situation. A lot of “satisfaction” or “enjoyment” I think, comes not from literal circumstances, but our attitude towards them. Even though I didn’t feel great and I had missed out on something fun, I was still able to “enjoy” the day. I got to spend time with people I cared about. I got to hear more testimonies from our group that gave me a deeper awareness of how much God can change a life. I even got to spend more time with the little girl who had helped me paint during the week. She gave me a small seashell to keep, and because it was from her, I still treasure it.

Because I didn’t focus on the “bad,” the “disappointments,” the “pain,” I was still able to enjoy the day. One of my favorite memories from that day was just sitting on the front porch of our cabins: singing songs, talking, and suggesting good books to read. It was a simple time of community, with no schedule, no work project, and no worries.

God also blessed me by putting people around me that were also looking for the good in each circumstance instead of complaining about each change or disappointment. In fact, the group even prayed for me to start feeling better. Even though I wasn’t instantly healed, I did feel blessed and loved because of their prayers. When we did go to the beach later that afternoon, our plans got changed; instead of going to a secluded island, we ended up staying on a rough and rocky beach. But even though the group could have focused on what we had missed out on, we instead found joy in our current circumstance. A few people started wandering down the beach and ended up finding some awesome shells to keep as souvenirs. And a few people went body-surfing on the strong waves with the kids. I even tried making a sand/rock castle. Oh, and we got to ride a tap tap for the first time! That was fun.

So even though the last day wasn’t exactly what we had planned, and even though I felt sick during parts of it, because God gave me the grace to focus on the good things, I still had a wonderful day.

I’ll leave you with this verse, which has been on my mind the past few days:

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” -Philippians 2:14-15 NIV

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