We all know the necessity of talking correctly as we speak to our friends about faith. God tells us to “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone “(Colossians 4:2-6).
Recently, I wrote about how to speak to your friends about faith. You can find that discussion here: http://waylonbailey.com/2015/05/11/how-to-talk-with-your-friends-about-faith/
Today, I want us to think how NOT to speak to our friends about faith.
What should we be careful not to do?
First, we should make sure we don’t disrespect our friends. One of our basic needs and greatest desires is to be respected. It’s a part of all of us.
Don’t look down on anyone by not acting or speaking respectfully.
Second, we should not be overly aggressive. Almost everyone needs time to process and accept new material. We must allow people time.
If a person does not come to faith immediately, it doesn’t mean she won’t later.
Most people react negatively to a too-aggressive salesperson. They probably will react similarly to a high pressure witness.
Third, don’t talk too much. As you listen, your friend will tell you “what makes him tick.” Listening attentively and empathetically will allow you to speak to your friend’s needs and heart.
James made this as a necessity for followers of Christ. “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19).
This verse especially applies to how we relate to outsiders.
Finally, don’t speak out of your own need. We often have our own “agenda.” These agendas get in the way of others getting to know God. Speak to your friend’s need–a need to know God.
The Apostle Peter called us to know how to answer everyone who would question us concerning the hope we have in Christ but to do so in “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
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