Last night I saw a status update on Facebook that made me stop and think. A person said that when they post that they’re opposed to homosexuality they stir up turmoil and dissension; and within minutes it did. While I don’t agree with their decision to be inflammatory for the sake of causing a scene, it did make me think about what would happen if I posted the same type of status update.
Probably not turmoil and dissension.
I live in a little Christian bubble and I have for the majority of my life. I went to Christian school for most of my life. In high school my main circle of friends were from my youth group. After I graduated, I attended a small Bible college. I stay home full-time and I live at my church. My family and my friends are all Christians.
I don’t regularly come into contact with people who believe differently than me.
To be honest, I’ve always been content with this. I always felt like my ministry would be more to give encouragement, support and discipleship to those who are already saved than to be an evangelist. I saw myself as someone who tended the flock. I saw this as alright because the Bible says that people have different giftings. I never would shy away from an opportunity to share my faith with others, but I haven’t really sought them out.
Opportunities to defend my beliefs to those who oppose them are opportunities to strengthen those beliefs. It’s one thing to study the Bible and know how to prepare a sermon, it’s quite another to have the knowledge at the ready when someone is challenging you.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
I can’t change my life too drastically right now; I can’t change where I live or what I do. The change I can make is to be more intentional about sharing what I believe and engaging with people outside my normal sphere of influence.
I don’t want to offend people for the sake of offending them, as Peter said we are to be gentle and respectful. But am I being an effective light to the world if I’m never challenged to defend those beliefs?
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