Don’t you hate those moments when you’re telling what you think is a hilarious a story and nobody laughs? “I guess you just had to be there . . .” It’s so awkward! In those moments, it’s clear that our personal experience did not exactly translate to the other person the way we thought it would or should, and it usually leaves us feeling not so great. Sharing our faith sometimes have similar results.
Now, it would be awesome if we could tell you that every single time you put yourself out there and share the gospel with someone that they will instantly be saved. It would be so cool if we could guarantee that every time you share your story, walls are going to come crashing down and the person who heard it will be changed forever. It would be awesome . . . but it’s simply not true. The fact is, sometimes when you share your faith, it will reach people and sometimes it won’t; sometimes the person will respond and other times they will reject. This is a hard pill to swallow.
But just because we may not see immediate change does not mean that our efforts were pointless. God has a plan for every person we share the gospel with, and maybe you were only the person who planted the idea, or the “seed,” of the gospel. Maybe God was using you to lay some groundwork that someone else will get to build upon. In 1 Corinthians 3:6, Paul pretty much makes this exact point, saying, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.”
Did you see that? God makes it grow, not us! Jesus once told a parable about this very thing. He talked about a farmer who planted seeds everywhere he went. Some yielded amazing crops and others didn’t! The seed is the gospel, and Jesus straight up says that not everyone who hears the gospel will receive the gospel. It’s a sad reality, but we should not give up hope! Just because you personally do not see growth does not mean you did not advance the gospel.
We are not God. This seems silly to say, but we need to remind ourselves of this. That’s why in 2 Corinthians 5:17–20, we’re called “Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” We’re Christ’s messengers, but we are not Christ. It is not our job to save people; it is only our job to share and spread the good news. Jesus does the saving work, and we tell others about it.
So please don’t be discouraged when a conversation does not turn out well. The Bible is full of stories of great men and women—prophets, priests, messengers, apostles—who shared the message of hope and it was not received by the hearers. We even see it with Jesus, who was rejected by many.
As you seek to be His ambassador, continue to pray for the people you share the message with, that God would use your conversation to help bring them towards salvation, and that He would bring other messengers and ambassadors into their lives to continue to draw them closer to Him.