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If I believe Jesus is why I can inherit peace, joy, and ultimately eternal life, why do I shy away from speaking confidently about the One who gives life?
Every week we live, encounter, meet, and interact with hundreds of people. Some of those people profess faith in Jesus, while others are completely opposed to it. Others practice a different religion, and some have no idea what they believe at all. Depending on where you live, your friends, your co-workers, your peers, and so on, that ratio of differing beliefs will vary. Some of you operate in a Christian dominated circle with only a few people who do not believe in the Gospel, while others of us are the opposite where you might feel like you are the only one who is the only Christian for miles.
As women of God, my heart for all of us, regardless of what environment we are in, is that we would speak our own convictions and beliefs with passion and assurance, but in a way that does not shame anyone in the process. I remember so clearly in high school being ashamed at times to claim my faith in Jesus out of fear of what other people would think of me. I was also scared that if I said I was Christian that they might think that I thought I was better than them. (Can anyone relate to that?!) There are even times now when I get that same nervous feeling before explaining I work for a Christian non-profit. Sometimes, when I’m asked what I do I say I work for a non-profit, leaving out the Christian part. When that happens, I usually walk away bummed with myself. If I truly believe that I am a Christian and that my faith in the Lord is why I can possess peace, joy, excitement for the future, security in the unknown and ultimately inherit eternal life, then why do I shy away from speaking confidently what I build my life upon?
If you can relate to these situations, why do you think you shy away from the same thing?
Standing up for our faith can be hard. Professing our beliefs can be hard. Hearing other’s beliefs and opinions, while genuinely listening without preparing a response can also be hard. But these are all things I think we are called to as women of God who are trying to make His Kingdom come here on earth. If Jesus made it His purpose and called us to go out and preach the Gospel (good news), then I believe it is what we are supposed to do.
This is a question I have spent a good part of my life asking myself and asking mentors for advice about. It’s a question that I am still developing tips for as I have more conversations with non-believers and people professing faith in other religions. I am excited to share my experience and tidbits of wisdom with you, but I am more excited for you to discover wisdom for yourself as you start to engage in more intentional conversations with non-believers. I really hope and pray these tips help you gain the confidence to go out, proclaim, and stand firm in your beliefs with total strength in who you are and who God has created you to be. Enjoy!
1. Get over the idea that talking about religion and personal beliefs is taboo. If you don’t know what ‘taboo’ means it means ‘off-limits.’ So often people do not bring up conversations about religion and beliefs because it is “too touchy” of a subject to engage in. However, I would say it is one of the most important conversation topics. What a person believes about God and faith is the single most important belief that will change their life both here on earth and where they will be for eternity. I feel like it is time we start bringing up this conversation more in our day-to-day conversations so we might be able to spark a desire for others to learn more about what it is that they actually believe in.
2. Develop childlike curiosity towards others’ beliefs. What I mean by this, is to go into a conversation with those of varying beliefs with childlike wonder to learn more about them and what they believe. As women of God, we don’t just care about someone saying ‘yes’ and going to Heaven. We are not on a mission to get a certain number of converts a day.
For me, I was always so scared to ask my friends what they believed out of fear of getting into a debate or discussion, but when you ask for the first time it isn’t about trying to convert, it is about trying to get to know them better! Just like you would ask them what they are passionate about. Think of it as another question to get to know more about a person. Here are a few questions that I use to bring up topics that can lead to discussions on faith:
These are questions that you might not have an answer for yourself, but they are ones that are fun to ask with childlike wonder. You are being curious about the world and want to learn more, not trying to make a point or to convert them. Give it a whirl, and let us know what happens in the comments below!
3. Proclaim Your Faith With Confidence. When you say you are a Christian say it like it is a response to, “what are you passionate about?”. This is the reason you are who you are and do what you do. This also goes for when people ask what you did over the weekend. If you went to church, say it confidently. It is just like saying you went to a movie; even though you know it means more to you than that. If you had a Bible study group on a Wednesday night, say you went to Bible study, not that you just hung out with a group of girls and talked about life. Proclaiming with confidence all of your interactions with your faith could open doors to people down the road following up with you and asking you about what you believe.
4. Be wise in how you act. Without knowing it, your actions are usually being watched. Whether that is through what you choose to post on IG or Snapchat, or how you interact and speak about yourself and others in groups. People are observing. One of my all-time favorite verses captures this idea well:
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.“ – Colossians 4:5
You never know how God is going to use one of your interactions with another person. It could be a complete stranger that you talk to for five minutes in passing, or it could be a long chat that you have with an old friend from high school He could use you without you even knowing it just by how you interact with another person. In every opportunity, there is a chance for God to be glorified in it. When you are in a group, do you find yourself gossiping about others, or do you find yourself celebrating and championing them? Are you asking questions and engaging with the people in front of you, or wishing you were talking with others? Are you generous with your time and actions? Opportunities come and go, let’s be wise in how we act so that we can be used by God in all circumstances!
Ladies you are equipped more than you think you are to engage in these sorts of conversations because you have the Lord on your side! Remember that wherever you go, He goes with you and will move through you in your boldness and confidence. Ponder these questions below in regards to walking out your faith around non-believers.
1. Where in your life do you get uncomfortable when talking about your faith? What do you think it is that makes you feel so uncomfortable?
2. Who do you think the Lord could be calling you to be more vocal about your faith around? A family member? A friend? A co-worker? Social media?
3. In what situation do you find it the hardest to talk about your faith?
4. If you are living in a situation where you do not engage with a lot of non-believers (this is me currently with working for a ministry and doing life in a Christian neighborhood) how can you be intentional about finding others and engaging with them?
Thank you SO much for loving us first so that we may now go out and love others with the love you have shown us. We pray that you use us to engage in conversations with others to spark their curiosity about you as we ask questions in childlike curiosity to them. We pray you would give us the boldness and confidence to proclaim our faith despite what culture might say or think about us. We know that you are the Way to true life and life to the fullest. We are so blessed to be able to live life with you. Use us, and show us ways to bring You more glory!
Krista Hengesh is the founder and executive director of Live Salted. She started it back in 2016 and has been chasing after the Lord with this calling on her life since then. She is currently living in Seattle, Washington and loves to be outside and active whenever possible. She is deeply passionate about bringing people together and helping them recognize the potential and influence inside of them!
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