One of the most important posts on this blog is entitled A Faith Forged in Relationship. There I write, “God doesn’t ask us to trust him blindly. In Scripture and in our lives, he has always revealed himself…revealed his character and made sure that we never have to trust in One we don’t know or understand.”
What God reveals of himself is the basis of our relationship. It is not unlike the relationships in our lives: the more one opens up to others, the more they can enjoy him. Further, intimacy with God safeguards us from turning our faith into crude ideology over which we engross ourselves and peddle with little regard for others. Relationship requires that what we learn of God we share with others in the manner shown to us.
This is why I cannot accept certain labels regarding believers, like fanatics (fans) or ‘Jesus freaks’. We are not insane for Christ. We are not mad or overzealous, but rather convinced about what we know of him because he has taught us. We bear our knowledge of him with cogency, purposefulness, and compassion. Paul, speaking of that revelation, declares with all poise, “That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return” (2 Tim. 1:12, NLT; cf. 1:8-12).
Thus, we sincerely listen to and share with those who do not know Christ and those who have questions or doubts about faith. We do not view them simply as pawns to be won. We certainly do not shove what we believe down their throats.
God sings to us the words of that cheerful Bing Crosby classic “Getting to Know You”; and he hopes that we’ll learn to sing it back to him: Gettin’ to know you,/Gettin’ to know all about you./Gettin’ to like you,/Gettin’ to hope you like me.
Knowing God makes all the difference in how we make him known to others.
More: see my post How We Engage The Lost.