No one expects to get “canned” for sharing the gospel. But this is exactly what happened to one of my friends after his salvation. Bubbling with enthusiasm, he couldn’t wait to tell someone about Christ. My friend walked into a grocery store and went down one of the aisles until he saw a woman loading her shopping cart. He struck up a conversation and began to share his faith. I don’t know if the woman was surprised or afraid (or a little of both), but she took the nearest items she could find (canned goods) and started throwing them at my friend. He bolted for the door.
This experience made a lasting impression on my friend. Sadly, it made him so discouraged he quit serving Christ. It took a while before I could convince him to serve the Lord and share his faith again.
People quit the Christian life for many reasons. Here are six reasons I have found:
- They don’t see a need.
- They start, but become discouraged when “cans” are thrown at them.
- They don’t believe it’s worth it.
- Someone in their family dies.
- The pace of life, sadness, or possessions cause them to stop.
- The guilt from past sins weighs them down.
Every single one of us will have bad experiences in life and ministry, but we can’t let them stop us from serving Christ. The Christian life is not about us and our feelings, but about getting ourselves and others ready for eternity. The question is not, what’s in it for me? but, is the cause of Christ worth it? The need exceeds the cost.
Maybe you’ve been holding back your service to Christ because of a bad experience. You have been ridiculed for sharing your faith, or you have experienced discrimination because of your stand on God’s Word; and now you are feeling discouraged. There could be a past sin which has plagued you with guilt. You have lost your will to continue. Friend, there is a lost world that needs you, and their need is greater than anything your service may cost you. You have too much at stake to quit now.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder