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Amy Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

Thank-you for taking the time to read and answer this question. I have recently been struggling with this problem.

  • How do you know if you are embarrassed or ashamed
    • to use God's name (not in vain) in a conversation or
    • to bring God up in a conversation with others?
  • Is it sinful to not bring God into a conversation when we see the chance or hesitate?
  • How can you fight these inhibitions?

Please try to help me out.

Thank you very much and God bless you!

Amy

  { Is it sinful not to bring God up during a conversation when we see a chance but hesitate? }

Mike replied:

Dear Amy,

In non-work environments, we should never be ashamed to talk about the Lord and His Gospel. When Jesus commissioned the Apostle’s, by extension, he was also commissioning all baptized Christians to preach His Name to the world and to others who don't know him.

This is what the very first Christians did!

When we are at work, we are being paid to work, not preach the Gospel. Our prayer and evangelization is reflected in the quality of our work as St. Francis reminds us:

Preach the Gospel to the world, and when necessary use words.

Whether it is a sin to be afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to talk about the Lord and His Gospel depends on the person or people you are talking with and the situation or environment. Most of the time, it is not a sin but you should still bring this issue up in Confession so you can receive the extra graces and counsel to give you the courage to talk about the Lord to friends and family when it is appropriate.

The very first Christians died for the faith rather that hesitate in preaching about the Lord.

Talk to your Confessor and go with his advice.

I hope this helps,

Mike

John replied:

Amy,

I would not say that it is sinful in the classic sense of the word but if the Holy Spirit is leading you to say something then you should. The easiest thing to say if the situation calls for it, is to say I will pray for you when someone mentions a problem. That usually opens a door. Then make sure you do.

Surprising enough that person may come back a few days later and say, hey, your prayer worked . . . and that slowly opens doors. We don't want to scare people away but we do want be ready to share and often times we need to earn the other person's confidence or trust before we can share effectively.

John

Amy replied:

Thank you for your answers.

  • What about using the Lord's Name in a conversation (not in vain)?

Thanks again.

Amy

John replied:

Amy,

You can bring the Lord or His Name in any conversation if it is not in vain but it sounds like you are asking about whether it's sinful not to bring His Name up.

Again, I would say in general it is not unless you really believe the Holy Spirit is telling you that you must . . . in which case it would be sin of omission or disobedience.

This can be really hard to determine, simply because it is not always easy to know if you are hearing from God on certain matters at any one time so you need to use your ordinary Christian wisdom in a given situation to discern appropriately.

John

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