Spiritual Conversations: Like a Box of Chocolates

In the well-known movie simply titled in honor of the lead character, played by one Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump famously evoked one of one of his momma’s sayings when he quipped: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” 

Oh the mystery!

As we think about what kind of witnessing adventures may await us in this season of life, fulfilling the Great Commission certainly includes conversations, conversations with others regarding the person and work of Jesus. Those conversations can also be like a box of chocolates.

Yet, it is the spiritual conversation, or a series of spiritual conversations, that God can and does use, to draw people to Himself.

And we get that. But what we may not get is how to steer conversations from the secular to the sacred. Have you ever found this endeavor challenging? 

If we’re honest, no matter how gifted a conversationalist we may think we are, we would have to admit that moving conversations toward the spiritual can be challenging to one degree or another at various times. And once there, then what do we do?

This series of blogs will introduce the process of having conversations – conversations of a spiritual substance, and ultimately, conversations about Jesus. 

A fascinating aspect about conversations is that they are also like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get. But as followers of Jesus, we’re called to walk by faith, not by sight, so that should be okay. 

There are two general ways spiritual conversations happen: we can initiate them by asking leading questions or they happen organically in the course of conversation.

There are a myriad of leading questions we can ask to get the ball rolling. For example, we can ask a benign question like, “Did you have any kind of faith tradition growing up?” or a very direct question like, “Who do you think Jesus is?” We’ll elaborate more on the power of the question during this series.

But first – have you ever had a powerful spiritual conversation with an unbeliever and you’re not quite sure how it began – it just happened? Upon sharing this phenomenon with people about this kind of discussion, I’ve been asked: “How did it begin?” My response: “I don’t know.” Can you relate?

Understand spiritual conversations are a God-thing! For the Lord has a singular ability to move conversations from the secular to the spiritual. And whether you see yourself as a talker or reserved, the “will to” must proceed the “how to.”  If you’re reading this blog, you have a “will to”, and I affirm you in the Lord! Trust that God will take your willing heart and grow this area of your witness. 

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

Whether we lead with questions or seek to be more organic in our approach, intentionality is the key. And prayer is the foundation to spiritual conversations and this principle imperative to understand, internalize and apply – go to God on behalf of people before you go to people on behalf of God. If we want to speak with people about the Kingdom of God and Jesus, ask the Lord to prepare us to give a “word aptly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11). We may know what we want to say and how to say it. Yet if we don’t know what to say we can trust the Lord to meet us at our point of need.

“But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak” (Matthew 10:19).

If the Lord promised to give the disciples the right words under that kind of pressure, don’t you think He will give to you and I the words in our moments of need?

It was just another trip to the bank – a routine visit. But on this day I had no idea walking into the bank that I would have a spiritual conversation with a bank teller.

While making a commercial deposit, he asked how business was going. I then told him I actually run a Christian non-profit organization. He asked what that looked like. I told him I taught followers of Jesus how to share their faith and also taught Jewish Roots of the Christian faith. He said, “That’s interesting.”

I then responded, “What’s your spiritual orientation?”

That began a brief conversation where he said he was struggling with faith issues. He told me he’d grown up in the Church and had recently been attending a church that was much different than what he knew growing up. He said this experience had him reeling and asking lots of questions.

Without knowing specifics, I encouraged him to seek the Lord and get into His Word. I also told him I would pray for him.

He thanked me and I went on my way.

Oh the mystery!

“Speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

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