There are some things every Christian knows or at least should know. What is sin? Who is Jesus? Why do we need him?
If you’re a Christian in 2017, there are other things you should know as well.
Like how to answer the question, “Is abortion a sin?” or “Is homosexuality wrong?”
Often, the people asking the question already know the answer. They aren’t really trying to understand what sin is, they’re trying to figure out something about you. Are you a Christian, Christian, or just a Christian?
And the way you answer will say a lot about you.
You’re tempted to dodge.
You want to be able to speak the truth in love, but you don’t want to turn people away from Jesus.
You wish they wouldn’t have asked, but they did. And now they’re staring at you.
What should you do? Create a diversion? Change the subject? Fake a seizure?
Or you could try something like this.
“Yes, abortion and homosexuality are sins; just two of the many ways people fail to meet God’s standard. One thing all of us have in common is that every day we feel compelled to do things we know we shouldn’t do. We didn’t ask for it, we were born with that. As a result, we’ve lied, stolen, cheated, hated, and so much more, even though we knew it was wrong when we did it. We are all sinners.
But that’s only half the story, and if we stop there we’ll all just be depressed. The good news is there is a solution to all our sin. Acknowledging our failures and struggles is what allows Jesus to do the work He needs to do inside us so we don’t have to carry it around anymore.
Jesus is ready to forgive us. He is also ready to release us from the shame and condemnation that follow us around because of our sin, and he’s ready to help us begin a life where we aren’t a slave to those things anymore.”
Suddenly, a question designed to show how hateful you are has become an opportunity to show how good Jesus is.
No, it isn’t a silver bullet and, no, the right phrase isn’t going to magically convert everyone you meet. But it allows you to point people to Jesus.
Or, you could fake a seizure and see how that goes.
You’ve probably already experienced moments like this, and if you haven’t you will. So be ready.
But whether you will be prepared for this moment depends on a little study, preparation, and your view of the gospel. You can’t speak the truth in love if you don’t believe the truth is loving.
Fortunately, it is. We just need to be better at explaining why.