Why Be a Christian?

“I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” –Genesis 12:2

Lately, I’ve realized something about myself: I’m a great evangelist. I mean this literally. The word “evangelist” comes from the Greek word for “good news” and is the term for a person who spreads good news far and wide. In my case, I am fantastic at excitedly sharing with other people the good news in my life. I love to tell people about the latest discovery I’ve made that has made my life better—a new food or recipe I love, a new favorite store to shop at, a certain exercise or training program that has helped me, a favorite gadget that makes life easier, the newest album or TV show that I’m obsessed with… the list could go on and on! And yet, what is conspicuously missing from this list of ways that I evangelize?

My faith.

This is not to say that I never talk about God with people. But the more I reflect on it, the more I see that I do so much of this non-God-related evangelism that my lack of Christian evangelism is, well, concerning. Why is it so much harder to tell people the good things that my faith does in my life than it is to talk about some gadget or TV show?

And I think I have the answer—or at least part of it. With all those other things, they are easy to define. It’s easy to explain to people exactly what it is I like about them, and to describe exactly what they do. They’re concrete. They’re limited. They don’t require me to open up about my inner self, my deepest emotions, or my dreams. I can tell people all about them without needing to bare my soul.

In contrast, my faith is much harder to put into words. It’s also impossible to adequately describe without letting down my guard and sharing with people my hopes, my dreams, my feelings, and my struggles. And yet, if my faith is truly something life-changing and important to me, I should be just as ready to evangelize about that as I am about all those lesser things. So the question becomes:

Why Christianity? What is it about my faith that makes it life-changing after all? Why do I do it? Why go to church? Why read the Bible? Why bother praying, or volunteering, or giving, or any of it?

The answer to those questions will be different for every Christian. I encourage you to spend some time thinking about them for yourself, because only then will you be able to articulate what the “good news” is in your life and why it’s worth telling other people about in the first place. For me, here’s how I would answer:

My faith is life-changing because it gives me a purpose that keeps me grounded throughout the ups and downs, the stresses and challenges, of day-to-day life. My relationship with God is a steady anchor for me when the world feels like it’s spinning out of control. I can always find comfort and peace in knowing that God is there and that God’s love and care for me will never stop. And when my to-do list is sky-high or I feel bombarded with bad news, I can always cling to the hope I have that God is constantly at work bringing life and goodness out of every bad situation. Beyond just my own peace of mind, though, being a Christian changes my life because it helps me live in line with a greater purpose. I don’t have to spend my lifetime seeking earthly sources of happiness, because there is far greater joy in knowing that what I do makes a difference. I chose the above verse from Genesis for this article because it has always spoken strongly to me; my sense of my own relationship with God is very much like this statement from God to Abraham. God’s blessing in my life is precisely that God allows and equips me to go out and make a difference in spreading blessing to others. When I make my decisions prayerfully and follow God’s lead, I feel an unparalleled sense of fulfillment because I can see how God is multiplying my humble efforts so that they have a greater impact than I could ever manage if I tried to go my own way. The decisions I’ve made in my life that have had the greatest sense of God’s “call” or leading have—without exception—been the most fruitful, amazing, and rewarding. Even though I don’t talk about it often enough, my faith in God is by far the best “thing” in my life, and the most worth sharing!

About carissalick

EL teacher, Christian, activist, learner, wife, mom
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