Hello everyone, I hope you are all fine by God’s grace. Today, we’re continuing with our last post “When you fail to agree part 1“.
Yesterday, we highlighted the fact that Christians should avoid stupid, useless and unproductive arguments which do not advance The Church of God in any manner.
The challenge for a child of God, is to present The Word of God as it is despite every opposition, without however being quarrelsome in any manner. It is even more difficult to communicate the truth to our friends than to strangers. This is because, there’s already a sentimental attachment between our friends/loved ones and us such that whatever we stand for which is in conformity with God’s Word but which isn’t in line with their own opinions will appear as highly offensive. At such a moment, we won’t even be discussing with their reasonable minds but with their hurt feelings.
Nevertheless, we really want to share The Word of God with them as it is, so that they won’t continue living in error and ignorance, but that they should be delivered by The Truth, which is The Perfect Will of God. How then can we speak to our friends about such sensitive topics on which we fail to agree, but which are very important with respect to the future decisions our they are going to take?
We thank God, that in His Word, He has instructed us on how to do this.
1. Refine your speech
Colossians 4:6 KJV
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Do you think it’s by being aggressive, heinous, angry, that you’ll convert your friend or change his mind? Have you tried that already? Has it worked? I guess no. Let’s then try another method. For sure you are supposed to answer with Biblical facts, however you can learn to refine your speech so that it should always be with grace (love for the other, differentiating sin from the sinner) and with salt (Biblical truth).
2. Add gentleness and respect
1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV
But in your hearts revere 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.
Imagine these two scenarios. Your mother opens the door of your room at midnight because she’s noticed that you broke a glass in the kitchen and didn’t pick the broken pieces but went to bed.
If she shouts at you while waking you up, the mindset with which you pick up those broken pieces will be totally different from if she came into your room, woke you up gently and asked “sweetheart, is there something wrong? Are you aware of the fact that you’ve left a broken glass on the floor of the kitchen? Why did you do that? Are you aware that it could hurt someone?”.
This was just a side story in order to illustrate the fact that even if you’re completely wrong about something, if you are approached in an aggressive manner, it’s not very probable that you accept that you acted wrong, that you apologize sincerely, or even produce a change in you. However, if you’re approached with gentleness, your response will be different. That’s the same thing for your friends, gentleness is a weapon, same for respect. How you approach them determines alot how they respond to you.
3. Remember that only God can lead them to repentance
2 Timothy 2:25-26 NIV
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Being gentle is not enough. You first of all have to commit the heart of this person in The Hands of The Lord, only God can change people’s mindsets and hearts.
Proverbs 21:1 KJV
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord , as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
4. Too much is enough/enough is too much
Titus 3:10-11 NIV
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
You don’t need to harass someone in order for the person to change. Amongst all the people you’ve ever harassed about doing something, has anyone changed? I don’t think so. Most often when you harass someone and they change, it’s not a sincere change of heart bit just a change of attitude in front of you so that you stop disturbing them.
The verse above advises us to speak ( warn) one time, then another, afterwards to let go. Whatever they dwell in will be on their conscience.
Please let’s make it clear, I am not asking anyone to stop Évangélisation just because people aren’t listening, nor to stop sending Bible verses to(or inviting in church) your close friend who doesn’t believe in God. I am not saying either that whenever people don’t agree with you on anything which concerns religion, that you should throw them away. What I am saying is that arguing isn’t the best approach. Speak to them gently, and of course pray for them.
Eternal Lord King of Glory, please teach me to refine my speech, speak with gentleness and respect, trust in You to convince others. Help me find the right words and the right time to warn. May You enlighten my ways and those of my friends and loved ones, in Jesus Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.
Thanks for reading.
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God bless you all.