I like to teach. I have had the opportunity over the years to do q lot of informal teaching, and occasionally some teaching that is much more structured. Both are fun, even though they ask for drastically different teaching styles. Currently I am teaching a college and career age class at my church in our Adult Bible Fellowship hour. It’s fun. A lot of fun. I might be old enough to be their Dad, but that might be part of why I like it! They make it fun for me, and I hope I make it a good time for them as well.
After class yesterday I had the opportunity to be interviewed by one of the young ladies in the class. She is doing a paper on religions and wanted to ask my why I believe what I believe. We spent a good 30 minutes talking about religion, works, faith, and relationship with God. It was a fantastic way to spend 30 minutes!
On the way home from church I was telling my kids about the conversation. It was a great opportunity to tell them about the beliefs of other denominations and to let them know why I believe what I believe, and where they could find the proof of it in the Bible for themselves. I was having a VERY good day! I was getting to teach at church in a class situation, in a one-on-one setting, and then pulling a Deuteronomy 6:7 moment with the kids on the way home!
Then my son said something that pulled me back. I know he meant it well, but it made me think.
“Dad, it’s kinda weird to hear you talk about God like you do.”
Now, he meant that I was excited, and I am so thankful that he recognized that, but it made me think, “Why is that weird?” Well, probably because sometimes things are weird until you get used to them. The more recent the moment of change, the more alien it feels. This is still fairly new for me.
I have been teaching for about 7 years now in church, but that is something he doesn’t get a chance to see, and Dad teaching in church when he talks about God is understandable, but talking about God outside of church? That is still a fairly recent development. I have never been one to really talk about my faith with others unless I am in a “church” setting, but that is changing.
I think this blog has something to do with it. I realize that most of the people who read it are probably “churched”, but I also know that I put this out there in some areas where people who don’t attend church can see it, or maybe they go to different church and don’t believe some of the same things that I do. Since I use this blog to talk about my journey in growing close to Christ, I am getting more experience in sharing my faith, and it is becoming more natural. As it becomes more natural, it is showing in “real life” too!
Peter gives us a charge as believers:
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”
– 1 Peter 3:15 (emphasis mine)
This is what I am relentlessly pursuing. Being prepared to make a defense. Other translations use the phrase “give an account”. Either phrase is intended to give the picture of standing in a courtroom and giving your testimony of the facts. Why God means to you what you say He means to you. A few things we can take from this verse:
1. Remember who you are talking about
This is about God. The holy, pure, one and only God! We honor Him by knowing not only WHAT we believe, but WHY we believe it! That is how we honor Him and what He has done for us. It is not just a matter of knowing about something, but becoming intimately acquainted with the Savior.
2. Be ready to speak
Not ready to run your mouth. Be ready to explain, in detail, why you believe what you say you believe. This is not something that should be taken lightly. As believers, we should be taking the time to get to know God every day! The better we know Him and His Word, the more accurately we will be able to present our case. We need to have our facts straight, and be capable of stating it in a way that can be understood.
3. Be gentle in your speech
We can tell somebody the amazing story of God’s love for each and every individual person on this planet in a way that will make them want nothing to do with Him. Pretty sad, but very true. How we present our faith should be done in obedience to God, but with respect to the other person whose views may differ from our own. Christ did not shake people into belief. He spoke truth in a calm and loving way, letting the Truth do the shaking for Him. That’s what He wants from us as well.
I have known my Savior for about 37 years. I didn’t put a lot of effort into getting to know Him until about 8 years ago. It’s only been in the last 2 years that I have started telling people about Him outside of church. That’s not a good account. That account says I spent too much time focused on how I felt about what people thought of me.
The good thing is that I have been doing it now for 2 years. I started. A desire for Relentless Growth in Christ will lead to a desire to share what He has done with people that you care about. As you learn more and share more, you will see more and more opportunities to do it. God’s pretty cool about stuff like that.
So, ask yourself. “Are you ready?”
If this has been an encouragement to you, please share it with someone who might benefit from it as well. More importantly, if you have benefitted from knowing Christ – share that! I’d love to hear from you with your stories and comments!
Relentless Growth -> Grow Deep -> Grow Strong