They are words that most Christians are afraid of hearing every time they begin to talk about their faith.
It’s always sad to me when a person is turned off from a life of following Christ because they’ve had a bad experience with someone telling them what it means to be a Christian. In our society, it can seem intolerant to try and change someone’s beliefs. The weird part is, people try to change others’ beliefs every day in everything from movies to what type of shoe to buy. Reasoned discussions can even happen over hot topics like politics. There’s just something about religion that makes that part of life off limits.
But here’s my question. What if there IS only one way to heaven? One way to real purpose? One way to real life here and now? Wouldn’t people want to know? As humans, we like to think we can set the rules about what’s appropriate to talk about. But what if there really are rules and ways the world was set up before you and I came along thinking we had a say in it all?
If I’m willing to listen to your beliefs and will love you regardless of what you decide in the end, can I be allowed to share with you the one thing I know to be true above all else? Can I talk about the one thing that has changed my life? Can I dialogue with you over the one thing that has given my life purpose, meaning and comfort in times when nothing else … and no one else could?
For someone who’s a true follower of Jesus Christ, that’s really the goal. It may come across wrong at times. We all make mistakes. We all miscommunicate at times. But the truth is, it’s an exciting, meaningful part of our lives. And you know what, it takes a lot of risk and nerve to tell others about it. Most people don’t want their friends and neighbors to be offended.
Does accepting God’s message require a life change? Yes. It does for every single person who has chosen to follow Christ’s ways. But for the first time, you won’t be alone in doing it.
It’s interesting to see Jesus’ model in sharing truth. He was direct. He required change. But for the person who didn’t have that relationship, Jesus was more interested in introducing them to a relationship than he was correcting a behavior. Christians have recently spent more time correcting behaviors. We need to get back to the big questions above.
In the end, Christians sharing truth about their beliefs should be a natural part of life. We have to stop worrying about how it will be accepted and start just having fun and building relationships with the friends where we live, work and play.