Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's your conviction? Show it off.

I had lunch with someone today who I hadn't seen in 4 years. It was a bit odd that he asked me out of the blue, but the purpose of the lunch revealed itself after 15 minutes of small talk - he was witnessing to me. This was the first time I felt alienated from Christianity as a spectator on the other end as a "lost soul."

It intrigued me how gutsy it was on his part to engage in conversation and nearly debate at some points on the philosophy of Christianity. I've already considered (in great detail), a lot of the doubts, fears, facts, philosophies etc of Christianity to land me in my current belief system, so it was a bit of a regurgitation exercise. However, passion can trump logic sometimes, and this guy was passionate about his beliefs without going overboard to warrant a lot of respect.

Sharing the gospel is a fundamental ideal of Christianity and this guy was certainly upholding that. So rather than engaging in a heated discussion, I heard him out, nodded my head and smiled, although I didn't appreciate the part where he presumed to know what my future held as if he knew me better than I knew myself. I live with my current belief system because the objective and critical thinking I've performed as opposed to the numerous Christians who are quick to judge non-believers but fail to scrutinize their inner convictions or uphold its ideals.

This conversation also made me question some of the Christians I know much better on a personal level. If a near stranger can come out of the blue and challenge my beliefs, I wonder why the clergy & church-goers I know better aren't doing the same (and not necessarily specific to myself). If Christianity is a part of one's belief system, isn't witnessing a core part of the philosophy to share your joy, especially with your friends or younger peers regardless of how uncomfortable or doubtful it makes you feel? The stoicism I see in some proclaimed Christians convinces me further that there is a greater distribution of belief in Christians ranging from lukewarm acceptance to passionate conviction vs. non-believers, who simply reject the ideas. If fear (of judgment, damnation, not fitting in) is the culprit for hanging on to Christianity, do more research because that's the ultimate cop out for having a belief system which should define your identity. That's glorifying yourself, not God.

Your strongest convictions show through your deliberate actions. I simply don't see this in a lot of the Christians I know. Today's lunch buddy was a resounding exception.


palmtreesandthecity said...

I came here through becoming minimalist blog. I enjoyed your story. I’m taking a baby steps to get rid of my “stuff” nowadays.

For a long time, I was slave to “stuff” that I owned and I didn’t own. (and wanted) I was always looking for a next “thing” to fulfill me, even though I had become a Christian few years ago.

Now today I read your entry, and thought to myself why often times I’m so afraid to share my faith. Especially people I love the most, namely family members and close friends.

Believe me when I say that I wholeheartedly believe Christ had died on my behalf for my sins, and I believe the Bible to be a word of God. It had changed my life.

I’m one of those who never even went to church till well into my 20s. So I know what it’s like to be NOT be a believer. Now I believe and know that Christ is the only way.

Why don’t I share my conviction more often? I don’t consider myself a mediocre believer. And I do, share my conviction probably more often than most of my church friends.

But I know I should share the Gospel more often, with more people.

For me it’s a false dependence on my eloquent speech, (and lack thereof) fear of rejection, and my pride thinking that I’m the one converting the one that I’m witnessing to.

I need to remind myself that ultimately, it’s God who redeems, it’s God who opens one’s heart to hear His word, hear of His love and grace.

Christ endured the ultimate rejection on the cross. Who am I to be afraid of some rejection by friends? After all, I’ve found this big, unending love of God who saves me.

And I do want my friends to know His love. It is like no other, and I shouldn’t keep that to myself for fear of getting out of my comfort zone.

So, thanks for your respectful rebuke. And I hope that you’ll continue considering trusting Christ.

Danimal said...

thanks for your insight, Lexie.