Monday, May 28, 2012

Always Be Ready?

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?
"Hmm, why?"
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?


Always counting...
#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


Nikki said...

 Oh I love your honesty. I wrote that verse in my journal a few weeks ago and have been pondering the same thing since. Still don't have the answer perfected.

But the other day, I had someone put me on the spot like that. They said, "You're a smart gal. why do you want to be known as a Christian anyway?" this person has been emotionally hurt brutally by a "church". And I remembered part of Brennan Manning's description and said, "oh, I'm not in it for the moral code. for the status of being good. No. I'm in it for the love affair. And thank you. Yes, I am smart enough to accept His grace when offered to me." questions followed that were easier to answer than this broad one. And I'm still amazed God was able to soften a heart by my horrible, somewhat sarcastic attempt at showing a bit of Him...

Where I thought I failed, He still used me. For His good. And I'm certain with a heart like yours, He will do the same thing.

Tonya said...

I can relate to an incredible degree! I've almost always been around other Christian people. Even when I left private school and went to public school, most of my friends were Christian, and the same goes with college. There was never any reason for anyone to ask me why I'm a Christian.  

Just recently I have been going to dinner once a week with friends. All but one of them grew up in Christian homes and all of them are now non-believers. I have to admit that for a short period of time I was questioning the existence of God, but I never let it be known to anyone. I just kept on saying that I am a Christian. My faith is still in a renewal stage now, but it was getting back into church that helped me start believing again.  

But anyway, with this group of friends, religion came up, and I was no afraid to admit that I still believe, but deep inside I knew that if I was asked why, I wouldn't be able to answer. 

One of the comments made by a friend was that she never understood the idea of God wanting to be your friend, and I have to wonder the same, too. For me, it's more about me knowing Him than Him knowing me. I feel like He already knows everything about me. 

But anyway, I'm rambling in your comments now. Just know that you're not alone. I'm hoping that maybe Grace For The Good Girl will open up some of these thoughts and clear things for me. But until then, I simply know that I believe, and I'll work on the 'why.'

Oh, and I love this from Post Secret last week!


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