I would imagine that most of you are familiar with the elementary school practice of “show and tell.” Each child brings an item from home, they stand in front of the class and they tell their classmates about that item. The only “show and tell” experience that I remember clearly happened during kindergarten.
I was five years old and I brought my yellow Sesame Street lunchbox. I loved my Sesame Street lunchbox. When I would get home from school, my mom would fix my lunch, put it in my lunchbox, and my little brother and I would have a picnic almost every day. It was one of my favorite things! So I brought it to class, stood in front of my classmates, and told them all about my yellow lunchbox.
Later, as everyone was getting ready to leave for the day, two little boys walked over to graciously inform me that Sesame Street was for babies and it was stupid that I had brought my lunchbox for “show and tell.”
Experiences like that make us afraid to share. They make us afraid to show people how we really feel—what we really think. It makes us afraid of risk and transparency. I don’t know if you experienced that in kindergarten or in junior high, but once we’ve reached adulthood many of us become very hesitant to really let our inner thoughts and feelings out into the open, lest we “show and tell” and are subsequently ridiculed for what we have shown and told.
Where am I going with this? “Show and tell” is really what sharing the Gospel is all about. We tell other people what we have experienced—what we believe—what we value. We “show and tell” what Jesus has done for us.
Nobody is going to be fought or argued into the Kingdom of God. But if we’re afraid to “show and tell”—if we’re afraid of how people are going to respond—then they’re not going to make it into the Kingdom of God then either. So we can’t argue them in—and we can’t keep silent. So what do we do? When your neighbor blasphemes, show and tell what Jesus has done for you! Yes, they may scoff. Yes, they may tell you that your views are primitive and silly and damaging. They may tell you that your favorite thing is stupid and for little kids. But who cares?
This is life or death business here, one that every one of us should be praying about and considering, to prepare ourselves to show and tell what Jesus has done for us.
Do you find it easier that you don’t have to argue someone into God’s Kingdom? Or is it harder to be honest and make yourself vulnerable? Sound off in the comments below!