We’ve all been there, right? Those unavoidable moments when the awkward tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. We all find those awkward moments…well…awkward, but what can we learn about our spiritual life through them?
Does sharing your faith come naturally to you, or is it awkward? Does the awkwardness of sharing your faith ever cause you to NOT do it at all?
Acts Chapter 3 tells of a potentially awkward encounter between Peter and John and a lame beggar at the temple gate. Here’s what we can learn from them:
1. Awkward Conversation
This beggar had laid at the entrance to the temple every day, which meant Peter and John had likely walked past him countless times. This is a lot like at school, when you walk by students who you know are hurting without pointing them to Christ. Once you do build up the nerve to talk to them, it’s kind of like “Why are you talking to me now when you’ve walked past me all this time without a word?” This is awkward! But you have to embrace the awkward moment and start the conversation.
Can people see that there is something different about your life by looking at you? Do they see an ordinary person that is living an extraordinary life because you have Jesus? With Jesus in our lives, cool stuff should be happening despite those awkward moments.
2. Awkward Reach
The lame man looked at Peter, expecting to get something from him. Other people who do not know Christ may take advantage of your kindness. They may even use you. Don’t let this distract you. Just like Peter and John, give them what you have - Jesus.
Research shows that everyone needs at least 5-7 physical touches to be emotionally healthy. Some people who have been hurt will try to act like they don’t need this, but they really do. Don’t let their hard shell keep you from reaching out to them.
3. Awkward Exchange
Part of reaching out to someone means meeting the needs that you can meet. The lame beggar wanted money, but Peter gave him healing and new life. What someone tells you their greatest need is may not actually be their greatest need. Pray and listen to the Spirit to identify what their greater need is and meet that. And what is the greatest need of every person? Jesus.
4. Awkward Prayer
When you pray with someone to accept Christ or pray for healing, it may feel awkward. This is okay! It may be difficult, but take the risk!
When you pray with a person, you are showing them that you are not the answer - God is! Prayer gives Him the opportunity to show up and do some pretty cool stuff.