Tempted to cram the Christian faith down someone’s throat for their own good, to strong-arm them into agreeing with your view of the world? Don’t. Choice is God’s idea.
When God created Adam and Eve, Genesis records that He left the door open for the serpent to enter their garden home. God even made Adam and Eve capable of choosing to do something other than His will. It’s instructive that God did not make these prototype people automatons. He gave the first homo sapiens the power of choice, of decision-making.
Think of that: God gave newly-minted, untested and vulnerable human beings the ability to make their own decisions. Knowing full well we are capable of disastrous choices, He still allowed us that privilege.
Christ followers should respect that God-given freedom of choice.
Whether we are raising children, managing a team, being a friend or mixing it up on social media platforms, it’s important to communicate our faith in a way that gives people space to disagree.
That’s no easy thing, especially if we take seriously the biblical declaration that people are saved or lost and destined for eternity in heaven or hell based solely on whether they are in relationship with God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Mercifully, God is our example. And He is a perfect gentleman.
• Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock…” (Romans 3:20) We can open the door of our hearts to Him. Or not.
• The invitation of Jesus is “Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) We can respond to that invitation or choose to ignore it.
• When Jesus opens a conversation with “Whoever wants to be my disciple,” clearly “wanting to” is on us. (Luke 9:23)
• The Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Still, some will perish. Why? Everyone won’t choose to repent.
Suppose Amazon delivers a gift to my door. It’s meant for me, but I refuse to open the door and leave the box on the porch. (Let’s assume no one can steal it!) The gift is still meant for me; but unless I open it, I won’t enjoy its benefits.
God’s offer of salvation is like that. God has given us eternal life and this life is in His son. The gift is ours if we choose to receive the Son. No one can make this choice for someone else. We can cultivate relationships. We can pray for God-given opportunities to share from a place of love.
“Sharing” the faith is not attacking people on social media, giving unwelcome opinions at family gatherings,twisting people’s arms or otherwise guilting them into loving Jesus.
Faith cannot be forced. God never threatens. He doesn’t argue. God loves, and He waits.
God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.