In order to have relationships with others and participate in discipleship, we must take initiative and reach out to the people around us. This is the first step, and it can be the most difficult. It can even seem scary at times. Why is it so difficult to reach out to others?
We’re busy. With work, family, and life, it just takes too much effort to initiate something new with others in a meaningful way. It takes time we don’t have. At times we are so busy that we don’t even see the people around us who might need encouragement or love. Think of the story of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years and was healed by her faith when she touched Jesus’ cloak (Luke 8:40–56). When Jesus healed this woman, He was actually on His way to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter. Even in the midst of chaos, Jesus saw people and changed their lives forever.
We lack the words. What do we say? Sometimes we just don’t know how to begin. It might feel awkward to initiate a meaningful conversation with those around you. Or you might think you have to speak perfectly, so you don’t initiate at all. First Corinthians 2:13 (NIV) says, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” When we speak to others about Jesus, we do not need to worry about having persuasive skills, seminary degrees, or even eloquence because the Holy Spirit is the one who reveals the truth of the gospel despite the we choose to use.