Conversation Starters

Speak openly about your past, it gives God glory and builds people’s trust!

In our journey towards righteousness, we all have amazing, unique, and personal stories that we can share about our successes, failures, and the things we are working on–being able to talk about ourselves with sincerity, and honesty, is important as it shows people there is no condemnation or judgment amongst Christians!

“Judge” Should Not Mean “Condemn”

It is no secret that when talking to Christians, many non-Christians feel they will be judged for the things they have done, or are currently doing

Regardless of any over-zealous evangelists that go around making Christianity look bad, non-Christians feeling judged is primarily due to the inherent differences between Christianity’s behavioral standards and the world’s

As best as we can, the people we witness to should not feel judged or condemned, as it will keep them from becoming defensive and shutting off

And while it is true that Christians often have a different baseline for what is considered good, we are also told not to judge people outside of Christianity, but, with love, we are instructed to hold each other accountable as Christians–understanding the separation of these two things is really important

1 Corinthians 5:12-13
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside

Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted

As Christians we should be able to discuss our behavior calmly, rationally, with love, and with the intent of encouraging one another to press on towards righteousness, and with this same sense of respect and rational calmness, we should be able to accept the choices of those made outside the church as they are a people living without God

Ask yourself this: what kind of choices did I make before I knew God?


“If You Are Dying Of Cancer, You Are Stupid And Will Burn In Hell”

Despite how much we don’t like sin in the lives of our non-Christian friends, family members, etc…, we need to look past their negative choices to see the people who are living in darkness without God

Sometimes these people carry tremendous hurts from their childhoods and past relationships which can lead them to think, say, and do negative things to themselves and people around them–they are often sick but do not know it

With this mind, how can we condemn non-Christians for their sins when they are living apart from God and have no power to overcome them in the first place?

That would be like your best friend telling you they are dying of cancer, and you saying that they are stupid and will burn in hell for it

“Hey, did you hear, I got diagnosed with cancer, it is really serious”

“Yeah, well, you are going to burn hell for getting it, I hope you are happy”

Well okay!

Jesus said he came to heal the sick, not preach to the healthy, and we should understand that this is our role in the world too as he didn’t command us to go around and spread a message of negativity, but one of power, love, and forgiveness

Matthew 9:10-13
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Luke 15:7
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent

If heaven rejoices when sinners come to God, what gives us the right to condemn them before they make that step, these are the people heaven is eagerly waiting for, and the ones we are here to serve

God’s Forgiveness Cleanses Our Souls, And Is For Everyone Who Turns To Him

No matter who we are, or what we have experienced, God loves us and wants us to be holy, righteous new creations

Part of being a new creation involves God’s forgiveness clearing our consciences and souls as we leave behind any sinful ways

Psalm 51:7
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow

But some of the biggest games the enemy plays revolve around trying to get us to doubt God’s love, ie:

  • God doesn’t love us
  • We aren’t worthy of forgiveness
  • Our sins are too great to be forgiven
  • Etc…

These are all lies of course, but the main strategy is that the enemy wants us to feel shame, guilt, fear, and then push God away because we do not want to feel rejected because of our “unworthiness”

This is all untrue, but it is a very difficult thing for non-Christians, and even Christians, to understand at times, since we fall short of God’s standards and people generally get defensive when they feel like they are not good enough in some way

Romans 3:23-24
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit

When we are talking with people about God, it is important that they understand that their pasts are not regarded in a way that would make them feel guilty, ashamed, or judged–this is done by sharing our testimonies (and share the good stuff, not the boring stuff nobody cares about!), in a non-preachy way, that allows people to see by example that there is no condemnation or judgment regarding past and current behavior that we walk away from

Everyone has a past, and struggles with things in the present, but we are all loved by the same God, and our conversations with non-Christians should reflect our heart’s desire for people to walk in the same forgiveness and freedom that we have been given

And remember, the same measure of forgiveness and mercy we show to others will be shown to us

Luke 7:47
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little

Luke 6:37
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

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