BOLDNESS IN FAITH
You and I—nobody wants to be rejected. When we talk, we want to be listened to. If possible, we want everyone to agree with us and people who disagree are simply uncomfortable to be with. It’s much easier to avoid them so we take the less tiresome path and only spend time with people who think and behave the way we do.
There are some cultures where people easily take offense when something negative is raised against them. Some are very emotional about what people say and think about them that instead of pausing to consider the grounds for accusation, they are quick to defend themselves online and end emotional reactions with articles or trending hashtags. We’re often oblivious that this kind of pride actually seeps into our Christian life and we only arrive as far as keyboard warriors.
When issues contrary to our faith circulate in the tangled world wide web, we are quick to voice out our faith in our posts—and when someone comments to disagree, we either easily dismiss them or start a full blast exchange of speeches. This is not wrong and I’d say let’s maintain this kind of Christian online presence.
But if this kind of conversations do not carry on outside the Internet, then we’re simply cowards acting out our faith behind screens. Nothing bold at all.
We are so connected by technology that we spend most of our time speaking passionately about our faith online, but we end up being disconnected from the real world: real conversations with real people.
Boldness in faith is not simply posting what we believe on social media or wearing apparel that shout out our faith—these are good acts of faith—but what we are missing in this crucial time of knowledge-at-our-fingertips, is taking time to gently invite a person (or a group of people!) who disagrees with you for a drink and listen diligently as to why he opposes what you believe.
The funny thing about writing this is that you might be reading from a tablet or a computer and if you like it maybe you’ll hit the “Share” button and that’s the end of it. Why not step away from your gadget and be friends with a disagreeable person? Deal with the discomfort of listening to what they think, nodding to let them know that you’re listening diligently. When they’re done talking, share what you believe with truth and grace.
I don’t exactly know how it would play out in each of our daily lives, but engaging in conversations that may be difficult and different for you can be an opportunity for people to be redeemed when they actually see the truth and grace of Jesus Christ in your life.
And while we’re at it, as a conversation starter, why not ask your friend’s thoughts on the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states—and how it can possibly affect the LGBT movement here in your country. Boldness in faith doesn’t always need to be a very loud proclamation in the streets, maybe it can be those little talks now that can create a major difference in this particular issue in the future.
Christin Alvarez enjoys getting lost in books and the myriad worlds they contain. She likes people but is too shy to talk to them so she just watches and writes about them in her head. You can sometimes find her in www.wagmuna.com