Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Christianity Is Not A Debate

I think it is human nature to defend our beliefs. Sometimes, disagreements can be misinterpreted as attacks against my intelligence, my way of thinking, or my value system.

Honestly, when someone tells me that they disagree with everything I believe about God, my first instinct tells me to defend and explain why I'm right.

But, I often have to ask myself---what am I defending? Am I defending my own honor? Am I defending my own "intelligence?" Am I defending my own pride?

 Am I truly defending the gospel and what it calls me to?  Not really.

I found that I spent more time arguing and debating my beliefs with nonbelievers than I was praying for them.

I found that a lot of my "defenses" were actually not very loving or grace-filled at all.

I found that I tried to limit God and His power by coming up with the "perfect explanation" of what I believe and why I believe it. (It's impossible to put what God did in my life in a 2-3 sentence rebuttal, by the way).

I found that taking the defensive role took away my ability to have a real conversation and my ability to say, "Yeah, there really are some things I struggle with, too."

So, I'm praying for an ability to lovingly and gracefully handle situations when people may or may not be looking for an argument/debate about my beliefs. (I know there are people who like to get a rise out of others, and people who ask questions out of general curiosity. :))

I'm praying for a heart that longs to see people find and experience Christ's love and grace instead of a mouth that tries to (unsuccessfully) change how people think by talking too much.

I'm praying for opportunities to have those difficult conversations, but to allow the Holy Spirit to work instead of relying on my own "power."

I'm also praying for those who have told me they have doubt and disbelief. I think working through that and figuring out why it's there is crucial and I pray that you find God's tremendous love and peace in the midst of it. To pretend that I never experience doubt and disbelief would be a huge lie, but I promise, He has never failed to pull me from it.

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