I rarely spend time with people who aren't Christians. My sphere of influence just doesn't include non-Christians. I grew up attending a Christian school, and now I teach in one. My friends are Christians, my students are Christians, and I've found quite a comfy couch kind of existence. But last night I found myself sitting amongst neighbors, and they definitely don't fall into the "Jesus-loving" category. I sat with these kind, country people, eating a home-cooked dinner and watching tv on the back porch. We got to know each other, talking for 4 hours about jobs, food, politics, football, and all kinds of other things. It was really a lot of fun!
But it got me to thinking, what if somebody asked me why I'm a Christian? And as usual, I carried on a conversation (one that would probably not be anywhere as terrifying as I can imagine it to be) in my head, and it sounded something like this:
"So, you're one of those Christians, huh?
Why? WHY? This should be easy! After all, I teach kids to defend their faith! I spend hours encouraging them to be brave and bold and... oh my word, I have no idea what to say?
Words like sin nature and redemption and even propitiation flutter around in my head, but I know that those words aren't the ones I need. I need a simple answer that really answers the question!
And I've got nothing.
All I can hear are crickets chirping loud, making the deafening silence painfully obvious.
"Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." (1 Peter 3:15 HCSB)
It's easy to be the strong, bold Christian in an environment where it's accepted and everyone understands words like propitiation, but I'm finding that outside that world, I'm mute! I have no words, or at least not the right words.
Do I know why I'm a Christian? Of course!
I am a Christian because God has called me to Himself.
I am a Christian because without him, I am dead in my sin.
I am a Christian because eternal life is the greatest gift ever offered
I am a Christian because for me, there is no other possibility.
But I've honestly never really thought about how to explain it to someone who doesn't already have years of Sunday school and Bible drill behind them. Yes, I'm ashamed to admit it to you, but I would venture to say that there are some of you, if you really think about it, who would say the same.
We don't venture out because we're afraid. We're afraid they won't understand us or they will reject us. So we fool ourselves into thinking that we're called to only be in the Christian environment. And the enemy likes exactly that. After all, if we stay safe, we can't share the Gospel with the World. And that fits oh-so-nicely into his plans.
What's your defense? What's your answer?
#528 Seeing the graduation of the students in my very first class
#529 Conversations with young women
#530 The last week of school!!!!
#531 Clearing our land
#532 A week at home with hubby
#533 A night with new friends
#534 Pictures with friends
#536 New beginnings
#537 A book in a day
#538 Perfect watermelon
#539 Watching students pray