There is an unspoken rule that unless you’re looking for verbal fisticuffs, you don’t talk about religion or politics.
But, could it be that conversations marked with discomfort and conflict offer the best opportunities to represent Christ?
John Hartley, a guest speaker hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the executive director of Pathways for Mutual Respect, says Christians should be willing to lean into those uncomfortable spaces.
“Conflict itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Conflict is something that can help lead us towards something new. It can help us recognize ways we need to grow [and] help life to emerge. It’s kind of ironic thing.”
Hartley has a few tips for talking to your coworkers, friends, and family about controversial topics. “The first step is to ask really good questions. The kind of conflict that happens may not be as troublesome as we might assume it would be.”
Strongly-held convictions have stories behind them. Sharing our stories in conflict and listening to the stories of others can open Gospel conversations.
“We get to talk about our thoughts and feelings about things and maybe it’ll make its way back to that controversial issue where our opinions differ. But we’re meeting the person — the actual person — we’re not just meeting their differing opinion.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh