Thursday, March 17, 2011

To Share or Not To Share?

As Christians, our faith should be obvious to our friends. Whether it be in conversation or by what we stand for, our peers should know exactly who we are. Our friends should know what we stand for and what we oppose. Even if they aren't Christians, our friends should see Christ through us. Though they may not recognize Christ Himself, they should still see the righteousness, purity, integrity, and holiness that He gives us.

One of the things I'm known for is my stance on dating. I don't date. People see that. Some friends see my stance as silly or lame, but most friends see the resilient dedication to Christ in my stance. Another example is my best friend. On his baseball team last season, my best friend was known for having a clean mouth. He was one of few players who didn't cuss. He was respected for that. Teammates would actually apologize if they cussed around him. His teammates saw his determination to be pure in speech and to not take his Lord's name in vain.

What we do is important, but why we do what we do is equally important. Believe it or not, the reason why we stand behind something or why we reject something can be a difference maker in our reputations. If my reason to not date was because "mom won't let me" instead of "I want to remain pure and focused on God", my reputation would be drastically different. I would be a smothered momma's boy who did what she said instead of a fiery Jesus Freak who stood firmly against teenage dating.

So how do we communicate our beliefs the right way? I usually don't approach the subject unless someone else brings it up. For instance, a few weeks ago at school, I sat down at a lunch table where some friends were discussing sex, birth control, and teen pregnancy. After a few minutes, I began to share my views. The conversation turned to one of dating, purity, waiting till marriage. Another example is a good friend of mine. He goes to a charismatic church; I'm born and bred Southern Baptist. Sometimes, out of curiosity, I'll ask him about his church. I like to randomly ask people what they believe about something (unforgivable sins, loss of salvation, baptism, dating, tattoos etc) to see what they believe and how ready they are to tell me their beliefs.

It's all about setting up a conversation. I learned how to do that, and let me tell you, it's so much more fun and thought-provoking to talk about deep spiritual matters than Justin and Selena or the week's homework. Remember, in those conversations, to listen more than you talk, but to take advantage of the time you get to talk. Share your beliefs. Stand firm in your convictions. Don't sway when you get mocked. You know what you believe and don't let anyone tell you different.

Does that answer your question, Ashley?

11 comments:

Ashley said...

Hm. Well, I don't think there is a clean-cut answer to that question, but it did give me lots to think about. I like your methods. :D And you have really great advice on it.

I guess my issue is that my UCA/church/everything else group basically believes the same things for the most part. Sometimes I wonder, "How do I stand out by being on fire for Christ in a group that is already completely different from most of the world?"

But, nevertheless, this was a GREAT post. I'll be thinking on it.

Thanks for responding to my question so thoroughly!!!

Shay said...

Great post, I have experianced a situation similar to your lunch table situation but it was a bunch of staff girls at camp (if you can believe it.) talking in our room one week. They were talking about well to put it nicely their "experiance" with guys. I stayed there silent most of the time but eventually I did speak up and tell them my stance on purity. I told them that I am saving my whole self for my future husband out of love for him. I was straight forward and told them that I had not been kissed and that kissing and all of the other stuff was saved for the man I will one day call my husband.

I said that I wasn't going to judge them for what they said and did though. After I said this they seemed to think that I lived under a rock and was just an awkward, unsocialized, fanatical, homeschooler. lol...oh well! You win some you lose some right? haha

Daniel G said...

It’s hard to have serious conversations sometimes, it’s so much easier to be caught up in meaningless goofing off, but it’s so much more fulfilling to share your love of God with others. Thanks for another great post

Ashley said...

AH! We have the same amount of followers! *raises eyebrow* Are you trying to compete with me?

I'm totally jokin btw...

Becca said...

Great great great post bro! For real. I really could relate to this because I go to Volstate and there is no Christian community at all. I spend most of my time blocking something out of my mind or leaving a conversation because it has gone sour or perverted. IT'S ANNOYING! And thank goodness the Lord has given me strength so far to stand for what I believe and people notice a difference in me. But I have a couple questions. (I'm like you. I like to know peoples views on things. It's fun to talk about Jesus.)

1) Do you think when someone cusses or says a bad word....for instance, at Volstate....do you think I should say something? Or should I be an example by not saying any cuss words? I don't know a balance there.

2) What is your view on dating? Like what do you think dating is opposed to courting? Just wonderin....I think it's great that you want to save yourself for your wife and I commend you for that. It's hard in this world. I just would like to know your thought on it.

If this is too deep or too long, you don't have to go into it on here. You could even email me. (same email as Ash. faraboverubies@att.net)

LoVizzle said...

I generally like to answer these questions in posts, mainly because it gives me something to post about and then I won't have to think of something else to write about later ;) But the first one is easier to answer in comment form, so I'll post about your second question by the weekend (hopefully). Would I say something? After a while, probably. I'll use an example. My uncle, aunt, and cousin came to visit beforer Thanksgiving. My cousin is not exactly the purest, most wholesome guy in the world, if you know what I mean. He cussed right and left, but only when the parents weren't in the room. I didn't confront him about it, nor did I cuss myself. After they went home, mom asked me, "Why didn't you say something about it to him? I guarantee you he was only cussing that much to look cool for you guys. And I bet he noticed that you guys didn't cuss either." I then realized that I should've said something to him. Usually, all it takes is a simple question to shut someone down. I'm sure if I had just asked, "Why do you only cuss around my brother and me, not our parents?", his conscience would've been pricked and the guilt would've kept him from constantly cussing, at least around my brother and me.

Something similar happened to me. Before I let Christ change me, I cracked bad jokes all the time. Racist, blonde, sex jokes, all of them. At my friend's church (which would eventually become my church), I cracked a racist joke against Mexicans with a fellow teenager. One of the adults, Chris, got flustered and asked me to step outside with him. Chris explained his problem with racist jokes and how demeaning they are, not to mention the guy I told the joke to was Dominican Republican by decent, which, though not Mexican, he was still Latin American by decent. I immediately felt guilty it, apologized, and over the next several months, I kicked bad jokes out of my vocabulary. I'm now offended atsuch petty jokes. Humor like that just is lame and inappropriate to me now. And Chris and I are good friends.

So my answer to you, Becca, is this, If you're around people who constantly use inappropriate language, just simply ask why they do it. Sometimes they'll just think you're weird, but other times, they may feel guilty and at least refrain from cussing around you. Simply asking them about it is often enough.

By the way, I'll be at Vol State next school year for dual enrollment, so thanks for the head's up about the morale. I've got some homeschool friends who go there for a class or two, and I often hear complaints about it.

LoVizzle said...

And you think YOU write long comments, Becca! You should read some of my posts from last summer and fall. They weren't short ;) But now found out the hard way that long posts tend to lose readers... and that shorter posts get more readers. So I keep it shorter now.

LoVizzle said...

Agh. I also prefer to answer questions in post form because of spell check! My spelling and grammar was terrible in that long comment! Oh well...

Becca said...

Thanks! That's definitely a good way to think about it. I'll keep that in mind when my peers at school cuss. I haven't known whether to say something or not. This gives me a good start and way to think about it :) THANKS!

Oh, and I didn't notice your "bad grammar." I thought it was great and understandable! :)

LoVizzle said...

I noticed because I've trained myself to have an editer's eye. I just didn't look back over my comment lol.

You're welcome! I'm excited to post about courtship; that'll be a long post. I love writin about that topic! :)

LoVizzle said...

Writin? Not writing? ugh...