A silent witness

A group of students gather in a small group for Bible study on campus. PC: Kimberly Ortiz

A group of students gather in a small group for Bible study on campus. PC: Kimberly Ortiz

Following the call

“Talking to people about Jesus isn’t my spiritual gift. I witness with my life.”

You’ve heard this before. Maybe you’ve even said it. After all, we are made differently.

Some people are extroverts, able to talk to anyone. They go door-to-door, talk up front and preach on street corners without thinking much of it.

Some people are introverts, befriending only a special few. They’re often found organizing, taking care of the kids or preparing the Sabbath potluck.

Neither personality type is wrong. They’re complimentary. Romantic relationships often involve an extrovert and an introvert, with each fulfilling different roles and making up for the deficit of the other. These differences are good and healthy.

When we try to apply these categories to the spiritual realm, however, we get in trouble.

Though we often find the extroverts passing out literature and the introverts working in the kitchen, is this really what God intended with ministry? Did He purpose introverts to simply minister with their lives, while extroverts preach the gospel?

“Go therefore, extroverts, and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matt. 28:19).

Wait, it’s not written that way?

We’ve turned our personality differencesand our social habitsinto spiritual crutches. Because it’s awkward to talk to new people, we turn down manning the church booth at the fair. Because it’s uncomfortable to knock on a stranger’s door, we shy away from Sabbath GLOW outings. It’s out of our comfort zone, so it must not be something we are gifted in.

That couldn’t be farther than the truth.

Many things are uncomfortable at the beginning. Do you remember your first day on the job? It takes time, but as we do something over and over, we relax. Eventually, we operate easily in a sphere that used to be completely foreign.

It’s that way with witnessing.

The majority of us aren’t used to actively sharing our faith. It’s awkward to try to turn a secular conversation into a spiritual one. It’s hard to hand a GLOW tract to a stranger. Our hands shake, our stomach ties in knots and we start sweating.

Our mind comes up with a list of excuses.

We have to step forward and push ourselves beyond that. The second conversation is easier than the first, and the sixth, seventh and eighth GLOW tracts flow faster than the first five. The more we push ourselves to act when prompted by that quiet, yet distinct impression, the more comfortable we become in doing so.

People are searching.

They have deep questions and doubts that often never come up in normal conversations. “How is God good if He allows suffering?” “What will really happen after I die?” “Why is life so short?” “Is there any hope for me?”

Satan wants more than anything to keep us quiet. A mild, non-intrusive Christian doesn’t threaten the devil’s kingdom. A Christian who takes literally the command to “go and make disciples,” however, makes him tremble. How many of his subjects would turn to the Light, if only we would offer it?

If you’re a Christian, witnessing is your calling. “It’s not my spiritual gift” is a lie. We may have different personalities, but speaking up for Christ isn’t subject to them.

Ginger Hany is a senior studying biomedical science.