presenting rational explanations for our faith in response to objections against Christianity). Thank you to all to shared comments. There is a lot of wisdom, power and diversity in our SUMite community. I find such value in reading the comments.
Let’s explore an additional piece of advice when speaking of spiritual matters. Consider this whether sharing with your loved one, a co-worker or a stranger.
Be consciously prepared to speak with truth and spirit.
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24
Several people shared that they think of the perfect thing to say … AFTER a conversation is over. We’ve all been there. Wouldn’t it be empowering to have already thought-out responses to frequently heard questions and challenges to our faith? At work, we call these “elevator speeches” which are intended to convey a powerful message in the brief time it takes to make a trip on an elevator.
Picture getting up in the morning and putting on your spiritual armor. (Ephesians 6:13-17) These elevator speeches can be arrows in our quiver. “Prepared” is in quotes because we should tailor how we phrase the response to have the most impact for the situation.
Let us reason together...Isaiah 1:18
This community loves God and His word. We all know that we are to study the word and contemplate how it applies to us. (Matthew 7:24, 2 Timothy 3:16…) What I am suggesting is to think through a list of commonly heard questions and complaints. Think how you would like to respond, having at least one way to explain your stand – using both truth and spirit together.
- How do you know there is a God?
- You can’t prove God scientifically. (I can’t play a Mozart concerto using a slide rule either. It isn’t the right tool!)
- If there is a God, why does He let horrible things happen?
- If God loved you, the car would not have broken down.
Our comments have to honor the truth as God defines truth. Are you prepared to back your beliefs with scripture? Do you know why you believe what you do? Or have you held your beliefs so long that you no longer remember where you picked them up? Skeptics will jump on anything they believe to be a weakness.
Be cautious of truth without spirit. In the Bible, the Pharisees, got all twisted around rites and rituals. Whacking people on the head with rules is not persuasive. In every day life, this might come across as avoiding or belittling someone who has a reputation of being “loose.” Yes. We are called to live a moral life. That’s truth. Jesus set the example of listening to prostitutes and drawing them to a better way. That’s truth and spirit.
As it relates to our testimony, this is where we can include our own passion, personality and experiences. “I believe in God, because he has made these changes in my life….”
I can be inspired by someone else’s explanation. To be authentic, I have to listen to the Spirit and share my own witness.
A caution is to not get so caught up in feelings that we wander away from truth. When we do that, we make ourselves a god. We can make opinions and feelings into a god. It might sound something like this. “If God is loving, he would want EVERYONE to go to heaven. Hell would not even exist.” The speaker desires others to be blessed, but isn’t standing in agreement with scripture. Frankly, some scripture can carry a hard truth. Are we ready to discuss those topics?
I’ve tried to concisely make a case for us to think through spiritual matters, preparing ourselves to explain our positions with truth and spirit. Please help me out by expanding the conversation in the comments.
To inspire you, here is a short video (courtesy of FallingPlates.com) that does an awesome job of conveying the gospel message in truth and spirit. Have a tissue ready.
Abba. We love You. We want to grow in Your way. We want to know You better. Guide our thoughts and speech so that they bring honor to You and truth to the world. Open doors and put us in situations in which we can share Your message. Amen.
So, what do you think? What are some frequently heard questions or challenges that you’ve heard? Isn’t the video moving? In England, do they call these “lift speeches?” :-)