Give Grace A Chance

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After reading my title, I have that song stuck in my head now, don't you?  "Just Give Grace a Chance..."  Continuing Grace Month with excerpts  from my article, "10 Quick Ways to Disagree in Grace" we come to numbers five and six.  I pray these tips have been a blessing to you and I would ask that you please pass along the link to my blog posts as there are so many Christians struggling to find comfortable or more effective ways in which to disagree.
Sometimes Christians find that they may disagree with other Christians over doctrine or how they interpret scripture.  I have seen Christians lash out at a sister or brother in Christ and I have seen others stand idly by in fear of what their response would bring.  This is a HUGE topic that I actually address in several of my communication studies, but I want to address a portion of this here today: new Christians.
"5. Give new Christians a Chance Before I ever came to accept Jesus, I didn't know His Word.  I cannot accept what I do not know.  I had to spend time reading the Bible before I could grow in my faith.  The closer I grew to the Lord, the more I wanted to live my life for Him.  I didn't start off witnessing. It wasn't until later that I decided not to participate in things like Santa and the Easter Bunny.  Be sure not to stumble a fairly new Christian because he is not yet ready or willing to make a change."
We don't want to stumble a new believer before he has an opportunity to walk with the Lord.  It's so important that we discuss things and not argue the point.  Most new believers will need time to sit with an idea before they can really understand it.  Most people have the same issue with almost any new idea.  Nobody wants to be told they are doing things wrong, but often we do need to hear it.  It's so much easier to share what we believe than to accuse or badger.  This allows us the freedom to speak.  It's also much easier for the recipient to hear us discuss our different belief.  This allows the other person the freedom to listen and understand.
Another issue we face with gracious disagreement, is when we notice the other party isn't "buying it."  LOL  As we attempt to discuss issues, we may notice that the other person isn't accepting our facts.
"6. Address their Concerns If they ask you a question, by all means answer!  Sometimes people may not come out and ask, but you can tell they have a concern by their body language or their facial expression.  If they object, by all means address it.  Calmly share what you know about their concerns."
Some will come out and ask you how you know X to be true.  Others will squinch up their faces or shake their heads from side to side.  This is a red flag clue that something needs to be addressed.  Do so.  Remember, that addressing their concerns doesn't mean telling them the are WRONG or getting them to agree you are RIGHT.  It simply means that we should graciously attempt to clarify why they are having trouble with our idea and see if we can discuss it further.  Along the way, the other party might learn you are right or YOU might learn something about the other person that will allow you to explain your position more effectively.
I'll be back on Wednesday with some more tips on disagreeing in grace.  Check out our newsletter subscription below.  We will have a free gift coming out tomorrow for all subscribers.  It's an activity book that helps parents and kids discuss what Jesus did for us.
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  • jojosblog

    Sorry, Cindy. I’ve had that song stuck in my head since I wrote this. LOL

  • zee

    good post

  • Cindy Holman

    Now you are going to have “Give Peace A Chance” stuck in MY head ALL DAY!!! Great points – no one wants to feel like they are not being heard and understood – it is especially confusing when we try to talk “spiritual” to those that don’t speak or understand those terms. New Christians are going to have MANY questions – we had a couple in our small group once and they were refreshing because of all the questions they had – it kept all of us on our toes!

  • jojosblog

    Exactly, Carla! Good points!

  • Carla

    Excellent tips! When I was a baby Christian, a lot of folks in the church used to try to involve me in these great theological conversations. I felt totally lost and, to be honest, like an idiot. It’s not like you say the sinner’s prayer and the entire Bible, KJV or NIV, is indelibly embedded in your brain! It takes time to learn. They definitely need a chance!

    In your second point, when you see those signs that you’re losing them or they disagree, maybe asking questions would help. Some folks are too polite to want to tell you they think you’re full of it, but maybe you can draw the objection out of them. Simply asking them a question or two about what’s bothering them about the conversation can bring it out. I mean, hey, then YOU asked for it, right? It’s not them telling you they feel you’re wrong which a lot of folks won’t do.

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