Recently, I have been reading a book called, I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. (It’s a really good book and I recommend it for teens and anybody who is single.) As Joshua explains his thoughts about dating, he encourages others to be very careful when expaining their own convictions to other Christians. This part of the book was SO helpful to me because i struggle with communicating my beliefs without being rude. Even though I Kissed Dating Goodbye is a book about dating, I believe these principles about communicating biblical convictions with love apply not only to dating but to communicating all Christian convictions we have. We certainly need to be careful and ask the Lord for wisdom. I hope this post encourages you.
1 Corinthians 4:12-13 says, “And we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”
Ephesians 4:15: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ”
Ephesians 4:29: ”Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Proverbs 27:6: ”Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
Season your conviction with humility- By Joshua Harris,
“This leads to the question of how to politely explain our convictions with others…It requires wisdom and humility to respond appropiately in different situations. I try to keep in mind that my primary purpose for communicating with others should be their encouragement and growth. Sometimes our explanations are helpful, protecting other’s feelings and possibly even challenging them. But other times our rationale only confuses people, ruining a chance for the natural growth of friendship and sending a holier-than-thou signal.”
In the rest of the chapter, Josh explains that we need to have different answers for different people. Some people who don’t know us as well might misunderstand our heart and think we are judging them. Others who know us understand we just want to please the Lord. The main point is to disagree respectfully and don’t try to win an argument. We need to be careful with the words we use. “Remember that the goal of your communication is not winning a debate or convincing your hearers of your view. If your friends agree, great! But your main goal is to humbly communicate what you feel God has shown you, to encourage your friends, and to contribute to their growth…As you explain your stance on dating (or anything other than dating), make specific statements about your own life, not general statements about everyone else. Be humble and honest about how you’re trying to be obedient. If you maintain this humble spirit you’ll often find your listener willing to share his or her own struggles and questions .”
“Our key motive in communicating our beliefs about dating, should be to serve others. We want to promote peace, love and righteousness that will bring glory to God. When we feel overly concerned about people’s opinion of us, when we concentrate on proving ‘we are right’, we’re likely to become defensive and overbearing. But when we make our top priority showing God’s love to others and thinking about their feelings, we’ll find it easier to make decisions about what we do and do not say…The Bible tells us we’re to bear the pain of ridicule without flinching. When you face scorn from people who don’t understand your convictions about dating, (or something else), instead of lashing out, respond with kindness and ask God to show those people the same mercy He has shown you.”
We “need to stand for what is right, even when it means to stand alone”. There is comfort knowing that God will bring to light every deed and we will all perfectly understand Him when we are glorified in heaven. But as you approach other Christians when it comes to convictions, have grace filled words, and put on love and wisdom with humility.We only know what we know because of God’s grace.