One of the toughest things I think any Christian is asked to do is speak the truth with gentleness and respect. This week with the college students we were going through 1 Peter Chapter 3 and we came across the speak the truth and Gospel to them with gentleness and respect. I hate this verse because I fail at it so much.
In ministry and life I find that it is so easy to get angry and frustrated. With Facebook and other social medias I find it more and more difficult to contain that anger and frustration. It is so easy in the social media realm to be impulsive and write something that is very angry and disrespectful. It is also easy to be taken the wrong way. We as Christians need to be better prepared speak is such a way that invites conversation not accusation.
I, like you, have failed at this. Even in past posts I have struggled to tow the line. We as Christians need to be about speaking with gentleness and respect to each others but also to those who do not believe the same way we do. This is not a play on being tolerant as our world would have us be. I sometime fell that our world says we are intolerant when we speak out about a moral issue or speak out about something against our belief. It is however intolerant to believe you are the only one worth hearing. When we run over people, call them names, belittle them or just ignore them we miss an opportunity to share with them our faith and understanding of this world.
Last year I went to a Muslim groups event where they brought it a person to talk about the differences between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. It was a very enlightening presentation. He was actually very fair about Christians and Jews. My biggest annoyance at the event were some of the Christians. They were so confrontational and rude that it made me as a Christian want to speak up against the Christian in the room who wouldn’t let the man speak. He used Christian lingo and basically called the man and idiot and trying to brain wash people for talking about Islam. I walked away from the encounter thoroughly frustrated with my Christian brother in Christ. He didn’t open the dialog he just attacked the man and how evil he thought he was. We as Christians can and should be better.
So my question for you is where are you in this struggle? Where do you fall short? As you think about the people you encounter who differ from you how are you responding in gentleness and respect?