“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
— Matthew 28:19–20
Stage fright is a very real thing. I am not 100% sure who ran the survey, but common thought suggests that people would rather face death than stand on a platform and give a speech. There is something unnerving about having the spotlight on you. Nearing the end of this last school year, my youngest daughter had worked on a project and was asked to give a speech about her work. We labored for a week on the presentation, the slides, the notecards, eye contact and all the rest. She had practiced holding a karaoke microphone while talking her way through the presentation. The timing was perfect, and everything was set… until she remembered she would have to give this speech standing on the Fine Arts Center stage. My 2nd-grade daughter realized that she was going to have to speak from the biggest stage in our district. I will never forget the way she looked at me and gently said, “I don’t know if I can do it daddy, because you know I have stage fright.”
As an introvert by nature, I understood where she was coming from as it related to her fear. However, I couldn’t get past the fact that she had everything she needed, not only prepared but mastered, in order to do a good job. The content wasn’t standing in her way. The room wasn’t really standing in her way. The audience that was populated by parents and teachers that were rooting for her were not standing in her way. The only thing standing in her way was her fear. Her self-doubt. Her unfamiliarity with the context. She was standing in her own way.
I wonder if the same is true of us when it comes to sharing our faith. We have everything we need in Christ Jesus to share our testimony, yet so often it seems like we silently pray for someone without ever really opening up our mouths to share with them the hope we have in Jesus.
For those of us in Christ Jesus, lack of knowledge isn’t standing in our way. Lack of opportunity doesn’t seem to be standing in our way. I wonder if we aren’t allowing fear to stand in our way? Fear of rejection, fear of being asked a question we don’t know the answer to, fear we will look silly, fear we will come across as pushy — just plain old fear.
The difference between an eternity in heaven versus an eternity in hell is found in the person of Jesus Christ. If you want to know what the main purpose is for a believer, this is it: to share the gospel with everyone we know who has breath. There is so much hanging in the balance!
Just so you know, my 2nd grader and I prayed just before the presentations started that God would give her courage and peace and recall to give the presentation she had prepared. When her name was called, she made eye contact with me, so I gave her the daddy wink. You know, the one that says without speaking words that everything is going to be alright. She stepped up on that stage and did an amazing job! Guess what. The next time you are about to share your faith with someone and you get nervous, remember that you have everything you need, and your heavenly Father is giving you the daddy wink because everything is going to be alright!