5 Tips on How to Explain Some of the Bible's Uncomfortable Truths to Non-Believers
Social media today is bombarded with opinions and ideas many of which go against Christian belief and sound doctrine. As Christians, we are called to be a buttress and pillar of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
But what does that look like at a practical level?
More than what we say in response to uncomfortable and pressing issues, how we say things matters, too. If we speak the truth at the expense of building relationships, leading others to Christ and being a light to the world, then we lose more than what we gain.
Ephesians 4:15 says, "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ."
There is a call to speak, but how can we speak uncomfortable truth, especially to non-believers, in a way that sheds light and not hate? Here are five tips to keep in mind
1. Speak the Truth
One of the biggest temptations is to sugarcoat and water down the truth because we don't want to offend anyone. I had an atheist friend who once asked me whether I believe that unbelievers would go to hell. That was a hard question to answer, but I had to speak the truth. The gospel is indeed offensive because it tells us how hopeless we are without Christ. People need to know that truth.
2. Speak in Love
But just as Ephesians 4:15 says, the truth must always be spoken in love. 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."
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The words we say are greatly affected by the motivation of the heart. If love for others is our motive, then the truth we speak will become more effective.
3. Avoid Arguments
The old saying goes, "It's better to lose an argument than to lose a friend." There is truth to that statement. Sometimes when we get into heated debates, the motive is not to win a person over but to simply win the argument. It's not worth it. The truth can and will prove itself and you don't have to ruin relationships for the sake of an argument.
4. Know the Context of Others
We often reference to how Paul became a "Jew to the Jew" and "Greek to the Greek." Part of that means knowing and understanding people's culture, background and context. Where's the person coming from and what forms his or her belief system? Understanding the context of people must come before speaking uncomfortable truth.
5. Walk the Talk
Many times people will not be listening to what you say, whether we live it out or not. And of course no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. But do we even make the effort to walk our talk? More than your argument, your testimony is the most powerful proof of the truth that we proclaim. It's not always about what you say, but how you live.