Our pastor gave a marvelous salvation message on Sunday and when he closed he encouraged any who didn’t know Jesus to receive Him as Savior. Then he said, “I don’t want to embarrass anyone, so be sure to talk with me after the service.” The word “embarrass” really hit me. And it hit me because I’ve had the same attitude when I’ve given an opportunity to receive Christ.
But maybe for the first time it hit me so forcefully: “Why do we act as if making a commitment to Christ is embarrassing?” Now, I actually do know why because I felt embarrassed to raise my hand when I wanted to receive Christ so many decades ago. But why? What is it about making that decision that makes a person feel embarrassed? That’s what I’ve been wondering.
For me, I didn’t know if those around me would make fun of me. And somehow it felt like I would be put up for display in some way. People would gawk, or something similar. But why? Why do we get that impression?
I don’t know that answer but I have been thinking about how we might make it not seem so “embarrassing.” I thought about saying something like, “Just imagine for a moment that you’re in a meeting and you don’t know what everyone else knows: that you’ve won a One Million Dollar Prize and within minutes it will be announced. Everyone is going to go wild with joy and happiness for you. You might feel embarrassed by the attention but when it’s announced and you stand up to receive your prize, you’re going to be so glad your life has just changed for the good.”
Now I know you’re already ahead of me. I’m describing the gift–the prize–of knowing Christ that a person receives at salvation. And the people around them want to jump up and down to rejoice with that person. Make fun of them? Gawk at them? Are you kidding? They want to pound you on the back to congratulate you.
Could saying something like that when we present Christ in a group setting make it easier for someone to step out of the aisle and come forward? Or raise their hand while everyone’s eyes are open? I don’t know. I’d like to try it and see.
Why do you think people feel embarrassed to indicate their decision for Christ? Did you feel embarrassed? What do you think would make people more comfortable making a public stand?