Devotions
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August 21, 2017, 5:00 AM

Good conversations build and strengthen people, they never destroy.


We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20

The Bible tells us that, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”  Quite honestly, sometimes I can’t believe that God trusts His image with people.  People are crazy!  I mean, does He see what people are saying on His behalf on street signs and social media? Of course He does.  That was an obvious and rhetorical question.  A question prompted by the repeated observation of Christians trying to make a valid point in an invalid way.  I am guilty of this too.  However, I am learning that the way we say things is just as important as what we say.

 

The way we present ourselves and the way we talk about God is crucial. The fate of people hang in the balance.  The way we speak truth is either repelling or alluring.  It is rarely, if ever, neutral. Not only is it important to know what we believe, but it is important to learn how to communicate our beliefs with grace and wisdom.  When it comes to hot-button issues in our culture, we are to be wise in how we have conversations and communicate God’s truth.  “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” Colossians 4:5-6.

 

Full of grace and seasoned with salt.  We do not have to be an expert in theology or even skilled in conversation to be full of grace.  What does it mean to “season with salt”?  To answer this we need to consider how salt was used in biblical times.  It was not your modern-day, refined table salt.  Salt was used to preserve the life of fresh fish and vegetables so they wouldn’t spoil.  It was also used for healing as unrefined salt has beneficial trace minerals.  Seasoning a conversation with salt means that we are to be an instrument of life and healing.  I don’t think we can do this by having a heated “conversation” over social media.  We need to have difficult, grace-filled conversations face to face and eye to eye and always in the context of a relationship.

 

Taking stands on issues is not more important than the people living them.  Our only goal should be to help people know Christ. Instead of using the Bible to destroy or prove a point, use it as a basis of conversation within the framework of a relationship.  Learn to ask good questions of those who live differently than you (open-ended ones are best).  Be willing to listen more than you speak.  Understand that you can learn something even if you vehemently disagree with someone. 

 

Good conversations build and strengthen people, they never destroy. Our words should affirm the truth about God but also the value of the people He created. One of my favorite things about God is that He has not dumped the entire box of His Truth on my lap at once.  He has revealed Himself, little by little, in the context of our relationship.  He has loved me through my dumb choices and outright disobedience.  He even died for me while I was still a sinner.  Truly believing this truth will change the way we speak to and love others.

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, thank you for sending your son to die for me while I was still a sinner.  Lord thank you for loving me, a sinner, now.  Jesus please give me wisdom when I speak to others about You.  Help me to pause before I speak and ask for Your help.  I want to be better at conversations because I want people to know You better.  In your name Jesus.  Amen.


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