Are you comfortable talking to others about what you believe? According to Barna Research, the primary reason some people are unwilling to talk about matters of faith is that religious conversations can create tension and cause arguments. Paul also found this to be true but that did not keep him from telling others about Jesus.
The city of Corinth was the next stop on Paul’s itinerary. Corinth was an important commercial center of its time, also famous for its loose morals. Once there, the apostle met Aquilla and Priscilla, both Jewish Christians from Rome. Aquilla shared Paul’s trade as a tentmaker, as well as his faith. We know from 1 Corinthians 9:12 that Paul worked to support himself while at Corinth so that he would not “hinder the gospel of Christ.” Corinth had a long tradition of public speaking, where paid professionals practiced rhetoric for pay. Paul worked so that the Corinthians would not misunderstand his motives.
Paul’s teaching in the synagogue created so much opposition that Paul “shook out his clothes in protest” and told them that he was turning to the Gentiles (Acts 18:6). This act was a familiar ritual that signified rejection, like saying, “I am washing my hands of you.”
Paul seems to have been intimidated by the opposition he encountered. But God did not want him to stop. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, assuring him of His presence and telling him to “keep on speaking” (v. 9). Paul would later write to the Corinthians and remind them how he had come to them “in weakness with great fear and trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3).
>> Just because you experience fear, it does not mean that you are unqualified to tell others about Jesus. Perhaps you can team up with someone. You may also want to strengthen your evangelism skills by reading a helpful book such as How to Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little. Take small steps and learn how to share your faith.
Paul’s example in today’s Scripture helps us overcome discouragement and fear. Thank you, Father, for reassuring Paul with your presence through his “great fear and trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3).