It can be tough, you know, getting others to “buy in” so to speak. I suppose that’s precisely why we have sales and marketing professionals doing their jobs well by trying to get consumers to buy what they are selling.
Taking a little closer look at this concept helps us to see the layers beneath it and just how important it is from many an angle. So what’s the angle? Hang in there as I unearth a little food for thought.
Let’s narrow this down to the topic of faith and how it is we might pass it on to others. How, exactly, do we get others to “buy in”? (Let me clarify first and foremost that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts, beckons and calls. What I’m referring to here is our ability to share our story which is truly His story of hope — with others.)
Looking at my own experience, most often I await a green light before sharing my thoughts on faith. Yet, even when feeling nudged, I hesitate and wonder. Is it safe? Will they think I’m bonked? Will they put me down?
In today’s world when we finally do have faith as big a mustard seed and boldly share, others might be brazen enough to counter with what we can do, where we can go, and where we can place our thoughts. Even fellow believers might have slightly different viewpoints and soon we discover that discussion boards are closed or possibly that friendships are deleted simply because they have the freedom to respond accordingly.
Let’s down size this topic of faith even further to our children. How do we get them to “buy in?”
I was thinking about how faith or any topic of importance was taught to me. Never do I remember anyone waiting for me to “buy in” before they taught me things of great value.
For example, nobody was hesitant about teaching me the ABC’s. There was no course in reason as to why or why not I should “buy in.” The adults in my life knew I needed this, so I learned it. As best I can tell, people still teach little ones the ABC’s with no questions asked.
In like fashion, my parents never asked me to see if I wanted to learn about Jesus, and God and the truth of His Word. They did not wait for me to buy into what they were selling. They knew it was truth and they taught it as such. I remember being taught prayers, about the lives of many a Saint, and the importance of attending church, receiving the sacraments, confessing my sins, and all that was important for my very soul. They didn’t wait for me to “buy in” before they taught me…they just taught it.
In a day and age where we must be so very respectful and sensitive to all faiths, all cultures, all people that God created — let us remember that we do so because all are made in the image of God. All. Not some, but all are made in His image. And guess what, some may not know this, unless we are bold enough to proclaim to others the truth of His Word.
Let’s not wait for others to “buy in” before we share. It’s His job to convert hearts, we need merely tell the story.
Recently, a man told me his story. He was traveling in a van and was praying. Not having moved from the van, he found himself in a cemetery — visually and mentally — standing in the corner as someone walked down the gravel road toward him. Soon, He saw that it was Jesus. Jesus came towards the man and hugged him. The man explained that it was the most amazing hug and that he did not want to let go.
Jesus said to him that He had to go because He was doing to do something very special for him — just for him. Jesus then turned, and as He walked back up that gravel road, a red cross began forming on the back of Jesus which radiated a bright red cross depicting the crucifixion. The man in the van began screaming, “NO!” Soon, the others riding in the van were upon him making sure he was okay. He then, to the best to his knowledge, explained to them what had just happened.
As he shared with me this story, he did not know if I was a believer. He did not know if I would scoff. He did not know if I’d “buy in.” He simply told his story — His story. May we be as bold and faith-filled as Mary who told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.
Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org