Once I was talking with one of my fellow little league baseball dads (our son Elijah played) – and he mentioned he started going to church with his family and really liked it. I said, ‘That’s great! What do you think about Jesus?’ His response – “I don’t want to go there.”
Now I could have said, “Why not?” or better yet “But Jesus is really what church is all about – I think we do need to go there…and quick!” Sarcasm aside, this type of response certainly would reflect interest only in my agenda. I chose to respect boundaries and say, “Ok.” And our conversation moved onto another topic.
1 Peter 3:15 states, “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.” Notice the context of this verse is our answering someone who wants to hear about our faith.
The application for us is this – we should only talk with people about spiritual matters when they’re open to such discussion!
In my years of engaging in witnessing conversations, whether they be with family, friends, or complete strangers, I’ve never forced a spiritual conversation upon someone. If someone is not open to discussing spiritual matters, respect boundaries.
God, please give me a spirit of love as I talk with others about Jesus and may that love be characterized by gentleness and respect, including the respect of boundaries. Amen.
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