My dad’s side of the family hails from wild and wooly West Virginia. It’s the Mountaineer state and has a unique, backwoods, rugged culture. Grandpa Whitlow and dad had a unique sound they often made when communicating with one another. It sounded like “eeeeyuh.” It was kind of guttural sound from the back of the throat. Grandpa would look at dad and say, “eeeeyuh” and dad would reply a few seconds later, “eeeeyuh.” They would then smile at one another and everything was OK. It’s fine to do that sitting on the couch after Thanksgiving watching a football game, scratching your belly. But when we leave Thanksgiving to go out into the world, we’re not hillbillies hiding in the woods, waiting for Jesus to come back.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” I don’t know how you see yourself in the mirror each morning. But God sees you as his official representative, in a foreign land with important news to proclaim. When we open our mouths, God makes his appeal through us.
Much like Moses, the Apostle Paul struggled with confident, communication skills. Notice his transparent evaluation in 1 Corinthians 2:3-4 from The Message, “I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate – I was scared to death, if you want to the truth of it – and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it.”
Have you ever been afraid to share your faith? Have you ever said, “If I open my mouth I’ll make a fool of myself!” You’re in great company. Paul was scared spitless. But he did it anyway, and God showed up. God’s life-changing power is not in an eloquent delivery but in the gospel.
Our imperfections and weaknesses are really a gift. Instead of driving people away, they help us connect. Here’s the secret to building bridges and connecting. Be authentic. Give voice to your fears, doubts, and worries. So we could say, “We’ve been friends for a while, and I haven’t told you about the greatest moment of my life. Actually, I’m scared to share it with you because you might think I’m nuts. But, I wanted to give it shot. Do you have moment?”