Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Outpourings: Responding to Confrontation

Praise God, we have officially hit MID-WEEK!

And who of us today does not need a lesson in responding to people who confront the faith?

I know I do.

Especially when it deals with opposition or questions regarding Jesus.

It occurred to me last week that this might make an applicable topic for an Outpourings post.  I was talking with my roommate about a situation of hers, involving a friend who was outrightly opposed to Jesus and Christianity.  I, too, had an occurrence involving "talking faith", but mine was much different.  I thought, "How did Jesus deal with many different types of faith-questions and/or confrontation?"

Have you struggled with what to say?  Giving your story?  Explaining your faith?  Perhaps this breakdown will help you, and I certainly hope it brings you encouragement.

Four Ways Jesus Responded to Confrontation

ONE: He used reasoning to reveal God's Truth.  When confronted by the religious leaders of the Law for working on the Sabbath Day, Jesus responds with reasoning: "And He answered, "If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn't you work to pull it out?  Of course you would."' (Matthew 12:11, NLT).

TWO: He discerned when to walk away.  There are times when speaking the truth in love seems especially trying and temporarily inappropriate, as the other party has little openness to hear your heart.  Pray to discern this type of situation!  "Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy.  Don't throw your pearls to pigs!  They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you" (Matthew 7:6, NLT).  He also instructed his disciples to shake the dust from their feet, if ever a town rejected their message.

THREE: He shared His story.  Jesus spoke of His Father often, making His faith personal and utterly alive.  He says, "I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won't believe our testimony" (John 3:11, NLT).  Sometimes, the most convicting way to speak of faith is by sharing about the changes in your own life.

FOUR: He asked questions.  Enough said.  How many times does Jesus respond to peoples' questions, confrontations, and concerns with alternative, thought-provoking questions?  Sometimes, it is a question that gets the wheels turning in a person's head regarding what they believe to be true.

On a final note, Jesus tells us to speak without fear: "When you are arrested, don't worry about how to respond or what to say.  God will give you the right words at the right time" (Matthew 10:19, NLT).

What other methods of speaking truth did Jesus use?  How have you dealt with confrontation/questions in any form?  

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