Personal Faith and Spreading the Faith

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

When I was twelve years old I remember sitting in church on Sunday and it hit me that there was something big going on in this place.  For the first time I began to make my faith my own.  It was something I wanted in my life, not just an event that happened once a week.  In fact, I joke with my friends that one of my “rebellious” actions as a teenager was my strong desire to attend church by myself. 

In college I had a crisis in my faith. A friend was challenging me about why I believed what I believed.  She grew up Southern Baptist and had a lot of questions.  God broke me through this experience.  At the same time He used my brokenness to grow my faith.  I finally understood the “whys” behind all the doctrines I had been taught growing up. 

God gave me plenty of opportunities to share my faith after this experience.  I had to practice putting 1 Peter 3:15 in my life.  Learning to share my faith with compassion.  Learning to speak in love and not worry about winning the argument. 

We are each called to come to Christ in a personal relationship.  Once there, we join the Communion of Saints in growing closer to our Lord and King.  Part of growing closer to Christ is joining in His mission to spread the Good News, to share our faith.  Jesus commands us to  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)  We are all called to evangelize the mission field God has placed us in.

John Paul II stated in Redemptoris Missio that “No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”  In our lives we are to proclaim Christ through words and deeds.  Evangelization is not reserved to the street preacher or the foreign missionary.  We are all called to “give the reason for the hope” we have. 

Sharing your faith can be as simple as telling others about how God has worked in your life.  You can also share your faith through your actions; how you treat your co-workers, your family, and the strangers you encounter during your day. 

For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel! (1 Cor 9: 16) 

**This article was written for Today's Disciple (a magazine published by my parent's church in Orlando, FL: St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church). 

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