“A single act of courage is often the tipping point for something extraordinary”
That statement arrested my attention. It’s true isn’t it? Just think of recent history. Earlier this year two to three individuals gathered on a public plaza in Egypt. Their single act of courage became the “tipping point” that involved tens of thousands, resulting in one of the world’s oldest nations being transformed before our watching eyes. In the last week, that six-month-old single act of courage by a few revolutionaries in Libya, became the “tipping point” which unseated the 42-year reign of a renowned tyrant. Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a public transportation bus and her single act of courage became the “tipping point” to spark the Civil Rights movement.
In the Old as well as the New Testament, we see single acts of courage becoming “tipping points” that result in the extraordinary and spectacular. It was a single act of courage on Abraham’s part to leave his homeland, which became the “tipping point” for God forming the nation through which our Savior came. It took that single act of courage for Moses to confront Pharaoh. His boldness became the “tipping point” for the Israelites to be delivered from 400 years of bondage. What an act of courage it was for Joseph not to put away his pregnant fiancé! That event became the “tipping point” upon which salvation comes to mankind.
You and I are not patriarchs, statesmen or even step-dad to the Messiah material. How can any single act of courage on my part become a “tipping point” for something extraordinary and spectacular? I’m glad you asked. Here it is.
It takes courage to share your story of coming to Christ, doesn’t it? That single act of courage can become the “tipping point” in the listener’s life which will transform them for eternity! We are told that 95 percent of believer’s never share their story of coming to Christ (and 90 percent never try!). Why? I believe the big reason is fear.
Allow me to suggest some guidelines for overcoming your fear of witnessing.
1. Understand fear is normal. Moses was afraid (Exod. 2:14), Elijah was afraid (I Kgs. 19:3), Peter was afraid (Matt. 26:69-74).
2. Ask friends to pray for you. Paul asked the Ephesian believers to pray for him so that he could declare the Gospel fearlessly (Eph. 6:19-20).
3. Expect to face opposition. Jesus said, “They persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20).
4. Focus on your reward. God promises earthly as well as eternal rewards (Phlm. 6, I Cor. 3:8).
5. Forsake the “I must win them” mentality. (I Cor. 3:5-7). We don’t “win them” anyway, God does!
6. Don’t forget that it is good news you are delivering (Luke 2:8-11)!
7. Remember, witnessing is an obedience issue (John 20:21).
8. Make the decision to defeat your fears (James 1:22). As the Nike commercial said, “Just do it”
9. Let this be your prayer every day: “Lord, I want my friends to know you the way I do. Help me to defeat the fear I feel when I think about talking to them about Jesus!”
The secret to making a decision you stick with is this: Manage your decision daily! Trust me – the secret for a long and fulfilling marriage is not just deciding to get married. No, that decision has to be managed on a daily basis. Every day pray for God to defeat the fear of witnessing in your life. Then just do it, remembering, “How a single act of courage can be the tipping point for something extraordinary.” I will be forever grateful for the deacon in Charleston Ark., who overcame fear long enough and managed that single act of courage to share Christ with me. It was the tipping point of my life!
GARY TAYLOR / MBC Director of Evangelism