It’s easy to proclaim your love for God, right? It’s easy to shout it from the rooftops! I mean, it should be, shouldn’t it? The problem is, it is easy when it is YOUR rooftop, in YOUR neighborhood where all your neighbors love God too….. but, what about when your on strange land surrounded by strange faces? Is it as easy then?
On October 1, 2015 at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon a gunman opened fire on more than a dozen souls. The reason? They were Christian. The news reports state that he went to each person, one at a time asking them if they were Christian; if they answered yes, he shot them. I remember reading a quote right after that, that goes “The bravest person in America? The 2nd to admit to being a Christian after the UCC shooter murdered the 1st.” -Armardo Hall. Since that day I have often wondered if I was that 2nd person if I would have said yes, or if I would have said anything at all. I found that answer about four weeks ago sitting in a Whataburger parking lot nervous to go inside because I was wearing a shirt that said “Jesus Freak” on it. Silly, right? Immediately, I was overwhelmed with shame. I was scared to share my faith just because I was nervous what someone might say?! The bible preaches on being unashamed of the truth, willing to lose your life for the truth!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16
“but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” 1 Peter 4:16
“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38
However, realizing you’re doing wrong doesn’t always make it easy to do right. When I was sitting in that Whataburger parking lot, I had to remind myself that as scared of what or who I could encounter with being so bold with my faith, it is MY job to spread the message. It is MY duty to walk in there, and anywhere else I may go and make sure that I have done everything in my power to influence others towards taking the pathway that Is Jesus Christ. I can do that by something as simply as wearing a t-shirt. Wearing your faith may not seem like it could really make a difference, but it can. Here are three ways how:
- It is a subtle reminder. Every single day at any given moment, everyone around the world is struggling with their own battles. These battles can range from unforgiveness, envy, materialism, simply being unkind, etc. Now imagine someone is dealing with one of these issues and you walk in with an article of clothing that has a bible verse speaking on forgiveness, humility, kindness, or love. That person is presented with a solution to whatever issue they may be dealing with and it is now their choice on what they do with it. From personal experience, this is the way I am affected the most. One grouchy mood can cause unkindness to flow so easily from my mouth but Galatians 5: 22-23 always brings me back to reality. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
- It is a conversation Starter. This one is pretty much self explanatory. Even the most well versed bible scholars still have things that catch them by surprise when reading the bible. The verse or story that leaves you scratching your head going “How come I have never noticed that before?” The same is with your clothing, chances are you can put the most recited verse in history on your shirt and you will still run into someone who has never heard it before. This is the perfect time that God has given you to spread his gospel. Use this as a teaching moment. By wearing your faith, you have now opened the door to telling someone about the wonderful God you know.
- It can ignite confidence. Just like bell bottom jeans and the shoes that are shaped like feet (For the life of me, I will never understand those and shoutout to God for making my husband accidentally lose his!) any trend, no matter how ugly, can catch on simply for the mere fact that if other people are brave enough to wear them, we are too! The same goes here, the more people wearing the faith, the more others find the courage to do the same, which means more doors are opened for subtle reminders or teaching moments. That means you, as one person, have the ability to spread the message to hundreds/thousands/etc! All of this a result of you being brave enough to do it so that made someone else brave to.
To some, Christian apparel may just be a style choice, but if used the right way it can be a weapon for good. It is Jesus using you to knock on the door of someone else’s heart and you never know who will answer and welcome you in!
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20