To Say Something or Not to Say Anything…That is the Question.

Yesterday, I was out with my oldest daughter. We had a good time together shopping for crafty things. I mentioned what I read in someone’s blog about how Christians want to “fix” other people. She then told me how mad it has made her through the years when I have tried to “fix” her.

“Remember when I told you I don’t read the Bible and you wrote me a letter?”

 I said, “Yes.”

“Well that upset me. I just delete things you write me about religion. You have your relationship with God your way and I have my relationship my way.”

I felt really bad and told her I was sorry. I told her I was always terrified she wouldn’t be saved and I knew that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.

I could tell that didn’t help. She is still angry about the times I’ve talked with her about being a Christian. She is one now, and has a ton of faith in God. More than I do, in fact.

So, as I wrote in my previous post, fear again was moving me to do what was wrong. I have seen the Holy Spirit working with her without any of my help.

Now comes the part where I am confused about living the Christian life. When we want to bring someone to Christ, what should we say? What should we do?

In his blog, “Pastor Unikely,” Thomas writes,

 “What if we tried to first bless people rather than only trying to fix them?  Would our lives and actions look different?”  

https://pastorunlikely.com/2017/05/28/a-good-reminder-and-challenge-from-our-daily-bread-being-a-true-friend/

 In a different slant, Anthony Baker wrote in his blog, “The Recovering Legalist,”

 “…our attempts to convey a point without offending do nothing more than muddy the cleansing water, smudge the reflective properties of God’s Word, and lessen the needed blow to our hardened consciences.”  Anthony Baker

https://therecoveringlegalist.com/2017/05/28/todays-preaching-tip-from-sir-winston-churchill/

I look at Jesus and how he shared his good news. He preached; he told us what righteousness was and what sin was. Some followed him, some tried to throw him off a cliff or stone him. He healed people; the people he healed loved him; the church leaders hated him for it and plotted to kill him.

 The times Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Saducees, he used plain language and warned them they were heading towards hell. He told them they had no love for God in themselves. He pointed out their sins.

When anyone asked Jesus a question, they got the straight truth – no trying to sugar-coat anything. I wonder how popular he would be today? I think we would kill him again.

My husband believes only those who are called as prophets and ministers should point out sin or mistakes in others. Maybe he is right – I don’t know.

Paul wrote, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.”  1 Peter 3:1

I know it is the Holy Spirit who has to convict people of sin and their need of God. Maybe he doesn’t need anyone’s help at all in this except from prophets and ministers. We can just show the love of God and show complete acceptance to people, knowing it is God who will change them into His image. Does this seem the right way to you? I would really like some opinions.

 

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15 thoughts on “To Say Something or Not to Say Anything…That is the Question.

  1. I am honored to be quoted, so thank you for that. But keep in mind, especially considering the question you have posed, that the context of my quoted words was preaching, not simply witnessing or sharing one’s faith. Those who preach the word of God from the pulpit should not be afraid to be bold; those in the audience expect to get preach to. However, even as a pastor, I don’t go around and point out other people’s flaws; I wait for the Holy Spirit to open up a door, a conversation in which those needs can be addressed in a loving, non-confrontational way.

    On the other side of the coin, however, don’t ever be ashamed to send someone a Bible verse as a means of encouragement. As long as you do it in a loving, non-judgemental kind of way, only the people who are convicted by the truth of the word of God will possibly get angry.

    That’s my two cents.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Great post! Personally, I think that children are in a little bit of a different category. And when they are grown children, the approach has changed once again. The Bible tells us to seek those that have wisdom. This is a challenge in this world today! But I think that most importantly, it is our testimony, our Christian Walk that should speak the loudest. It’s not so much the words we use. I believe that Jesus Christ was a beautiful example of this, as He was meant to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi – also honored to be quoted. I thought long and hard about how to comment on the Our Daily Bread post for just this tension that you bring up. I chose an order, that we try to first bless people but even that doesn’t sufficiently cover the issue. There plenty of folks who divorce speaking and actions – the old Frances of Assisi quote about preach the Gospel, if necessary use words – but that is not what Jesus and the Apostles model or the Bible tells us to do. Jesus spoke the truth in love and made no apologies for it.

    We are told to encourage each other and speak up if a brother or sister has sinned against us. We are told that we are to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all nations – it is our main job after all. So we surely need to speak and speak often.

    On the othe hand, the Holy Spirit is the one whose job it is to convict the world and we surely do not want to go around sin sniffing with other Christians. So surely we are to be quiet at times.

    I think you see the answer expressed generally in 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter where Paul points out that all of the great gifts of the Holy Spirit are worthless without love. Love is the fruit of the Spirit that make all of the other gifts work.

    So where we have true agape selfless love in effect, there are going to be situations where we speak up and point out a sin to a brother out of love for them or the church and times where we don’t say anything out of love for them. Love for a new believer, for example can lead us to not bring up areas that they are rough around the spiritual edges while they mature. Love moves us to help people who are suffering with immediate issues but never leaves them after fixing just the immediate – if people are no longer hungry but don’t know God it is a pretty pointless hel we just gave.

    The post made me think about my desire to make other people like I think they should be and the world to act like I want it to act contrasted with how Jesus loves each one of us individually.

    I could tell that didn’t help. She is still angry about the times I’ve talked with her about being a Christian. She is one now, and has a ton of faith in God. More than I do, in fact.

    Oh boy, as a parent I feel your pain. Respectfully, though to your daughter, as you are doing your job as a parent and you are accountable to the Lord for that, it is hard to find fault as Christian. This seems like something that may work itself out with spiritual maturity.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I love your question! I think it calls for someone to be wise in each situation when you’re trying to ‘convert’ someone

    Lemme give you a personal example, I’m in Kenya & in our class we had a Somali refugee. He’s Muslim and he’s very religious with his faith. The first year, he stayed away from us, only socialized with Muslim students. Any Muslim friend who hang out with us, he would approach them, instruct to stay away from us because we were Christians, ‘infidels’.

    We got angry but in this situation I actually thought there is no way I’m going to convince someone to change his way of life. If we confronted him or stayed away from him, it would have convinced him that we are bad as he thinks.

    So anyway, we ignored his hate completely & we were very kind to him. We would say hi even if he didn’t respond & offer help with class work etc. This approach worked & this hardline Muslim who hated us calls us brother! & calls me sister!

    His attitude towards us has definitely changed, his clothing has even changed to ‘secular’, he’s becoming more like us & we didn’t even tell him anything. He’s now a good friend.

    I’m sure if we were forceful or preached to him, or handled it a different way, he would have felt justified in his prejudices.

    People are so defensive, its better to approach with softness, kindness & love. It eventually works!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. God is so incredibly awesome and hears our prayers. He is the one that draws us. The most effective witnesses in our life were the ones that walked the walk not just talked the talk. We just need to trust God and allow Him to do His mighty work.

    Liked by 1 person

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