WHEN TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT GOD?—when they ask a question about God, your faith, church, or spiritual things

If you force someone into a spiritual conversation it can have a negative impact on their openness to God or to future discussions with you. So how can you know when to talk to someone about God?

 

In this blog series we will be highlighting a number of signs that let you know that now is the time to have a God-conversation with a person in your life.

 

Today’s answer to the question, “When should I talk to someone about God?” is…

 

…when they ask a question about God, your faith, church, or spiritual things.

 

Think about how Jesus approached this question of when to have spiritual conversations with people. When you observe Jesus’ life in the gospels, you recognise that he was always trying to identify the seekers among the crowds of people he interacted with. As soon as Jesus recognised that someone was searching for answers, or that they were thinking about God, or that they were aware that something was still missing in their lives, he immediately focused on that person and tried to help them see that a right relationship with God was what they needed.

 

In John chapter 3, when Nicodemus showed up at Jesus’ door at night, saying, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him,” Jesus knew he was searching, so he headed straight for a truth that he knew would begin a life-changing discussion with Nicodemus. He said to him, “You must be born again.”

 

In John chapter 4, when he encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus began probing to see if she was searching. He began talking about living water that can satisfy your inner thirst in a way that physical water never can. The further that conversation went, the more obvious it became that this woman was searching. Jesus immediately began talking with her about her sinful pursuit of love in the wrong way. He also described God’s nature and how we approach him. All the way through the conversation, the woman was totally involved in the back and forth. It wasn’t a lecture; it was a great conversation that led to her bringing her whole village out to meet Jesus.

 

We could keep going and talk about Zacchaeus, the woman with the haemorrhage who touched him in the crowd, the scribe who had questions about eternal life, blind Bartimaus, the man let down through the roof, the Syrophoenician woman, etc, etc.

 

In the midst of his talks to the big crowds, while he was healing person after person and casting demons out of all who were oppressed, as he interacted with people along the way—in every circumstance and encounter, Jesus was on the lookout for seekers. And so often, the thing that showed him a person was searching for answers was that they were asking questions.

 

When a person asks you or someone around you a question about God, even if they ask it nonchalantly, you should always focus your attention on that person and begin responding to them as though they are searching for God. Talk to them about what God means to you. Ask them a question that will let them express themselves at whatever level they are comfortable with.

 

When someone mentions what your faith means to you, share with them on the personal level about your relationship with God. Don’t just talk about theological truths about God. Tell them what he means to you personally.

 

When someone brings up church, talk about the difference between religious Christianity and a personal relationship with Jesus, who is alive.

 

The first and most obvious sign that it’s time to talk with someone about God is when they ask a question that opens the door.

 

Why don’t you stop right now, and pray that God will bring someone who is searching across your path today? Ask him to show you they are searching by having them ask a question!

 

Mother’s Day 2019

The Bible gives us a beautiful picture of the impact a mother has on her children and on generations to come:

 

2 Timothy 1:4-7

I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

 

Think of Lois in this passage, deciding to put God first in her life, trusting him through the difficult times, learning to build her life around God’s word and, as a result, watching her own faith grow. Think of her teaching her daughter Eunice to not just have religion, but a sincere faith in God based first on his word and then on her own experience of his faithfulness as she trusted him in the experiences of life.

The Apostle Paul knew both of these women, knew that their faith was sincere. As he got to know Timothy, he saw a faith that was familiar to him. Timothy had absorbed from his mum the same approach to God that she had absorbed from her mum.

Today, honour your mother for the sincere faith that she has passed on to you. Let her know how she has impacted your life. If your mother didn’t model that kind of sincere faith to you, then make an absolute commitment before God that you will be like Lois to your kids.

Your sincere relationship with God, putting him first in all things, openly lived before your kids, will have a huge impact, not only in their lives, but the lives of their kids and generations to follow. You will never be sorry you paid the price to put God first in your life and in your family!

 

How Christmas motivates us to live as witnesses for Jesus—God so loved the world that he… what about you?

If I were to pick one verse out of the Bible that expresses the message God was communicating through sending Jesus into our world at Christmas, it would be John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” That verse really challenges me about reaching out to people with the message of Jesus Christ this Christmas.

Read More

How Christmas motivates us to live as witnesses for Jesus—Time with extended family is an opportunity to share about Christ

When I have spent Christmas with family or friends who don’t know the Lord, sometimes I have been too pushy, and sometimes I have held back too much. But the reality is that any time that you are with extended family members who do not yet know the Lord is a great opportunity for meaningful spiritual discussions, but Christmas is even better than other times, because Christmas is about Jesus!

Read More

10 Common misconceptions about Christianity and Christians: #8 Christianity was good back in the old days but is no longer relevant

Everyone seems to agree that Christianity served its purpose at some point in the distant past, but many feel that it is totally irrelevant in the secular world of our day. Now that we have been enlightened by science, belief in creation seems archaic. Now that we see that men and women should be treated with equality, the Bible’s teaching on men taking the lead in the home or in the church has been completely outdated. Now that our society has come to the realisation that any lifestyle is as legitimate as any other, the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality should be completely rejected and put into a museum alongside other curious things of the past.

Read More

10 Common misconceptions about Christianity and Christians: #4 Christianity is dangerous to society and has ruined many lives

We all know people who have been badly treated by Christians and Christian institutions. When this bad treatment happens to someone close to us it makes us really angry. As Christians we are angry because Christian leaders are not acting at all like Christ. We know they are departing from Jesus’ way of living and leading. We know that God hates to be misrepresented!

Read More

Why should a person consider Christianity? — To live a purpose driven life

Why am I here?

It’s one of the most foundational questions of life, and one of the most intuitive. Something niggles at the back of our consciousness, an awareness that we have a purpose in life, even if we have not found it yet. Many great fiction books tap into this awareness with stories of young people who discover they were born with a great destiny to fulfil. Why do such stories grab the attention of so many readers? Because we understand that things in this world have a reason for being here.

Read More

Why should a person consider Christianity?—We are all broken and only God can bring wholeness!

“How can I help this person in my life really consider Christianity?” You may have asked this question.

I remember asking those very words as I spoke to the woman next to me on a flight to Perth. She had expressed a desire to talk about God, but no matter how I approached the conversation she kept just shutting me down and cutting me off. At first it seemed like she didn’t really want to talk. But every time I went back to my in-flight entertainment, she would interrupt it and start our conversation back up.

Read More