I was a vocal coach for many years. During those years, I met and taught people from all walks of life and because of my personality and style of teaching, my voice lessons often turned into counseling sessions for my students.
There was one student in particular who really turned our vocal lessons into counseling sessions, and due to that, he really attached to me and I attached to him. I would teach him how to sing each week and he would open up to me about all his life struggles. It would break my heart hearing the emotional turmoil he went through on a daily basis and the struggles in his life that he could not seem to overcome. I was surprised and flattered when one day I got a call from his actual licensed counselor telling me how much I was talked about in their session and how much I was admired by my student and we even brainstormed ways to team up in helping support this student. I could see clearly that he looked up to me and held onto the words I said. I had the power to be very influential in his life.
One day during one of our voice lessons, rather than just listening to his personal problems, I decided today was the day that I was going to give him the hope I felt he needed, which was telling him about Jesus Christ! I told him about how Jesus died for his sins and he could accept the free gift of salvation and become a new creation, one without guilt or shame! I could see his demeanor change as I told him these truths of Jesus Christ, and I could feel his guard go way up. I then handed him a booklet of my own testimony in Jesus Christ that I wrote in hopes that showing my own vulnerability of my past shame and mistakes might make him see that Jesus can and will forgive anyone, including him! He left that voice lesson much different than he ever had before, which was very much guarded from me. After that lesson, I think we had one more lesson before he stopped calling to book more lessons. No more opening up, no more vulnerability from my student, and ultimately no more relationship. I never saw him again.
Often times bringing Jesus into relationships will change the relationship, it will make the relationship weird and awkward, it will stop relationships completely! Why is that? Well, because the name of Jesus has power! And sometimes that power is seen as offensive or threatening. Does it make the truth of Jesus power untrue? No! Is things getting awkward the fault of the person telling the truth of Jesus, absolutely not! In this situation with my student, I loved and cared about him enough to tell him about the one person who could make things different in his depressive and oppressive situation, and that is Jesus Christ! What I told him was not just something I read about in an old history book, I experienced it first hand and I wanted him to experience it to! He chose to deny it at the time and to create false protection for himself and his demons within. I say demons because could there possibly have been demons dwelling within him that were threatened? There very well could have been! Would that ever stop me from boldly speaking the truth of Jesus? No way!
As Christians we are commanded to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” Mark 16:15. In order to fulfill that command, things are bound to get weird at some point. Rejection is bound to come your way at one point or another. Although what is more important, following that command or not rocking the boat, not making things weird? I choose the first! I encourage us as Christians to accept the fact that because the Holy Spirit lives in us, we are going to be seen as weird to others! Once you accept that fact, you will recognize that being weird for the sake of the gospel is where true freedom lies! The name of Jesus will always at times makes things weird, because there is power in the name of Jesus! Although lets take those awkward moments to stand firm in the truth of Jesus Christ and utilize the Holy Spirit to work through us! Who knows, maybe the awkward moment will turn into a soul saved and destined dwell with God for all of eternity!
To sum it up. Preach the name of Jesus BOLDLY and at ALL COSTS!