I spent last week in the beautiful sunshiny state of Florida.
Without even a close contender following, Florida is my most favorite place in the whole wide world. I try to go there every time I get to choose a vacation spot.
This time I was with my mama and my childhood best friend and then my best friend had invited one of her friends.
I’m a little apprehensive to write this post but for the sake of the point I’m trying to make from it I’m gonna go ahead…
I had a conversation while on vacation regarding faith…my Christian views were opposite from this other person’s beliefs. It’s easy and natural for me to discuss my beliefs when others are in agreement with what I believe but when their beliefs oppose mine the conversation that ensues can be kinda difficult.
I won’t go into large detail but there was talk of their “belief in Buddha” and also mention that they’d “never read nor want to read the Bible because it was written by man…and often times pastors are hypocritical.”
You guys!! The coolest thing happened right then and there though…I was actually able to respectfully share my view without stalling on my words. I’m forever saying that I’m a much better writer than talker but this day the Holy Spirit was all over the moment.
I simply (and kindly) responded something along these lines, “I actually don’t agree with that, the Bible notes that it’s the inspired word of God. Yes, true that pastors can be off because they’re only human, but a good pastor will challenge you to get in the word yourself and find out how it’s speaking to you. For me when I read in the beginning of the Bible and it talks about creation of the world and everything in it and how people came about, and I read about sin entering and forgiveness of sins because of Jesus’ mercy and grace, then I can’t not believe every single part of it. When I read it everything just makes sense to me. It’s like a puzzle that fits together perfectly from start to finish.”
I really don’t know if my words at the time made a difference but I can trust God to do His will and way with how He used me and in His own timing. Ultimately it’s always up to an individual to choose how they will respond to God’s invitation when they hear a message. Without being pushy I can only do my part and then leave it in God’s hands afterwards.
I wasn’t really expecting to have that conversation while vacationing in Florida but in the time since I’ve thought about how incredibly important it is to truly live out the verse from 1 Peter 3:15.
And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. —1 Peter 3:15
Situations like what I described above are why verses like 1 Peter 3:15 are included in God’s word.
As Christians we must be able to open up about our faith and sometimes even defend it, to know and trust what we believe, and be able to share that hope with others in a compassionate way.
As long as we’re breathing and communicating with others the opportunity to share our hope of Jesus always exist…doesn’t matter if we’re in the comfort of our own community or vacationing at our favorite getaway…as Christians we must be ready and willing to share our hope in Him!!
But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. —1 Peter 3:16
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. —Colossians 4:5-6