To Share or Not To Share
Sharing isn’t always the easiest thing to do. For some, sharing is innate; they do so with joy and no restraint. For others, particularly those not raised in an environment where sharing is preached, they must be coerced almost into participating and may not fathom the full reward in doing so. In either case, it is something often strongly encouraged but never deemed a requirement in communal settings. For example, as a child one may be compelled to share his toy with his siblings but as an adult there’s no compulsion to giving to the needy, albeit money, food or shelter. Actions such as these are often left for the “Good Samaritans” who at times can be a rarity among the masses. Folks like these find their encouragement in sharing, in giving with no regard for society around them that doesn’t embrace the same philosophies. The recipient appreciates the “Samaritan” while society merely stands in awe of the transaction but generally does nothing more than spectate. Often is the same approach with the Gospel of Christ.
Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is not only highly encouraged but a requirement of a follower of Christ. Like giving to the poor or participating in a form of community service, it’s often praised but not enough credence is given in terms of it being mandatory. Unto His disciples, Christ decrees in Matthew 28:18-20: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In this we see that sharing the gospel and advancing the kingdom of God is not encouraged but required of Christ’s disciples. It is our God given decree to share the gospel but often it is approached as a suggestion and the work of God suffers. Paul describes his commitment to sharing the gospel in 1 Corinthians 9:16-18, which reads: “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” Wow! How the apostle speaks intensely of the importance of his role! The sharing of the gospel is a task entrusted to a steward and according to 1 Corinthians 4 we all ought to be considered stewards of the mysteries of God and servants of Christ.
I sometimes liken the idea of sharing the gospel to sharing a lucrative opportunity with friends. If I knew how to make millions of dollars and there was enough to go around, I’d be eager to share it with my friends and family in hopes that they would share in the fortune. So as we engage in the season’s festivities of giving and being grateful, let us consider our most important task—let us share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s no longer consider it a suggestion or something strongly encouraged but rather a mandate from our heavenly Father as stewards of the kingdom of God. Let’s do away with the “secret society” approach taken regarding the gospel but rather seek to include as many new souls as possible. Be blessed people of God!