Do you want more of the Christian abundant-life? Do you want to know God more and experience more of the blessings and gifts that are ours in Jesus Christ? Take a look at this verse:
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philemon 1:6 NIV 1984
The English Standard Version (ESV) says it this way: “…and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”
Pretty powerful promise! To begin to know more of what is ours, and to be able to appropriate what is ours, we have to be willing to share and talk about what little we do understand of the good things that we have been given.
It’s kind of like purchasing a brand new car with all sorts of fancy new gadgets. To know and use ALL the goodies that are available to us, we have to start playing with and trying out the goodies that are ours. Then, as we become comfortable with those knobs and options, we will find more and more things that our vehicle has available.
There is a trick, of course. When it comes to spiritual God-truths, it is scary to go out on limb, and start sharing what you don’t know a whole lot about, especially when there is the possibility that someone might disagree with what you have to say. So we say nothing at all. Or we say the safe thing, or we simply agree.
We shank our opportunities for God’s glory and for our growth and blessings.
In golf, a shank shot is described this way at www.TopEndSports.com:
Many golfers consider “the shank” the worst shot in golf. The reason a shank happens is because the golfer is trying to play a safe shot…or “no brainer” shot. The scene gets worse because — you probably shanked your next shot as well.
How do you get rid of them? Well you need to do, “the opposite” – [of what you were doing].
[You must] overcome and reverse your present bad habit….To do it properly: first, relax…Second — mentally picture [what you should or could do]…I tell my students, “What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.”
We can apply this to our spiritual shank shots, as well.
The next time you experience a missed opportunity to share spiritual truth or talk more intimately with someone, instead of feeling guilty and trying to avoid thinking about the whole scene, do the opposite – and think about it. But not with guilt. (Although asking God to forgive your lack of courage and asking for wisdom is recommended.)
Take some time to think about – what you could of said.
What questions could you have asked to keep the conversation going? What could you have asked to find out where they were spiritually or emotionally in their particular circumstances?
Even giants in the faith find that they miss opportunities. I receive a small pink newsletter, several times a year, from Dan and Augusta Harding of Families Against Cults of Indiana, Inc. The first paragraph of their December 2010 newsletter, they say it this way:
It’s always hard to believe it when the last newsletter of the year goes out. Where did the year go? We always think about the things we could have said, should have said, wish we had said, etc. [We could practically] write a book each month on this material.
For yourself, either way, consider the scenario that happened, and then in your mind, take it as far as you can. What is the truth you do know, that you could have shared? If the missed shot happened with a person with whom you have a close, family, or work-type relationship, I believe, that it is okay, and often preferable, to go slow. It’s all the more important, then, to learn to think about these things before hand and afterwards.
What also happens, as we begin to puzzle over possibilities and choices that we could of shared, is that we begin to be drawn to God’s Word, to help us through these various truth-situations. This is a good thing. In needing more, we seek and learn more.
If you’re willing to grow in your outreach to others, you will be able to enjoy more of the possessions that are rightfully yours. Just begin small and start where you are.
Sharing and using the little bit that you have brings more! How cool is that?
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