I think there is something particularly tough about talking to old friends about Jesus.
It is difficult to talk about God to someone who has known you for a long time. To talk about something that is so personal, so important but so profound and radical, so… different.
I have a few very close friends that I have known for the majority of my 44 years. They are, I think, agnostic or atheist to varying degrees. I say, “I think”, because I do not really know where they stand beneath the surface. It is to my shame that I rarely, if ever, attempt to speak to them about Jesus or about my faith. It is too hard – too awkward and dangerous.
As I get older, and my skin gets thicker, you would think that I would find it easier but I don’t. It is not really from embarrassment any more – these are close friends and I believe they care about me. Nor does it arise from my wish not to seem pretentious or arrogant – I don’t, but that’s not the reason. No, my reticence is mostly driven by a desire to keep our friendship safe and, in a very English way, to avoid any awkwardness. We are comfortable and relaxed. I like that. Why should I make things weird?
Also, these are people who know me well. They have seen me, a so-called Christian, grumpy, lazy and depressed. They have seen me drink too much, heard me swear and say nasty and unkind things. They know I claim to be a Christian, but they know all about my warts and blemishes. What’s the point? How could I possibly be convincing?
However, there is another side to this coin. These are people who are very important to me. I care about them. These are people I love. How can I not talk to them about my Lord? How can I not give them the opportunity to choose? It is not merely pathetic, it is contemptible.
You guessed it, it makes me cross!
I have recently become something of a Demon Hunter fan. If, like me up until a few months ago, you had never heard of Demon Hunter, I will explain that they are a Christian (heavy) metal band. They combine a hard, yet sophisticated, metal-core sound with an uncompromising Christian lyric and one of their more accessible tracks, “Collapsing”, has a message which, frankly, cuts me to the bone.
Ryan Clark, Demon Hunter’s lead singer, wrote,
“When you get to a certain age, it seems like all of your peers have made up their minds regarding most issues of faith, and sometimes relaying the truth of Christ to these people may seem like a lost cause. This song is about never giving up that fight to reach these people. Even if their hearts have been hardened to the truth, it’s important for us, as believers, to continue to fight for these lost souls. The lyrics of the bridge are ‘No vow of silence, no remission of truth.’ This should be our stance in regard to sharing our faith with others.”
I don’t know how, but I know I need to start sharing sometime soon…