Let’s face it, it seems that more and more people in our society treat Christians as though we are clueless idiots. I’m sure we’ve all come across it. It’s evident in how Christians are portrayed on TV shows and movies. And it’s not just on television, we have to deal with prejudices against our Christian beliefs in daily life too. Often people don’t mind if you’re a Christian, as long as you don’t actually act on it. That’s why I created this list—to give Christians the tools necessary to handle those uncomfortable situations.
But first, before we get started, I want to go over a crucial term called humble confidence. My definition of humble confidence is having humility in your own abilities, but confidence in God’s abilities. We can show humble confidence by listening, being polite, and being slow to anger. However, that does not mean that we back down. We should always stand firm in our beliefs that are based on the truth—God’s truth.
Okay, so let’s get started:
If you find yourself on the other end of a tirade then smile, nod, and listen. Let them have their rant. If you interrupt or get angry, it will only justify their beliefs. Let them spend their angry energy. Then when they are done they will be more inclined to listen to your calm response.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:19-20 (NLT)
- Discussions—Good, Debates—Not-So-Good
Try to avoid anger laden debates where it’s obvious that your “opponent” is bent on riling you. If that’s the case, I refer you to tip number five. However, there is nothing wrong with having a discussion. In fact, it’s good as long as tempers remain checked.
The key is to answer questions to the best of your ability. But if they have a question that you can’t answer, don’t concede by saying, “I don’t know,” and then walk away—tail tucked, defeated. Stand firm in your beliefs! Pull yourself straight and say with humble confidence, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll find out, and get back to you.” Then talk to a pastor or another Christian leader who can help you find the answer and really do get back to them. When you do get back to them, don’t act like a know-it-all. Answer their question with humility and kindness.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
Pray for everyone in your social circle. It’s easy to remember to pray for friends, but we also need to pray for those around us that, quite frankly, treat us like we’re idiots. They need our prayer the most. I don’t mean to go up to them and lay your hands on them—that’s a good way to get a restraining order. Just pray for them whenever you can, especially right before you know you’re about to have interaction with them.
But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Luke 6:27-28 (NLT)
- Be a Good Example
Always be polite, don’t interrupt, help others, and show them what it means to be Christian not only by words but action. Just because we treat a person with respect does not necessarily mean we respect all their ideas or beliefs. There is a difference. We should always treat people with respect, but we don’t have to pretend we agree with their beliefs. We shouldn’t live in fear of offending people. Jesus offended a lot of people, but he never treated people with disrespect.
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:17-18 (NLT)
- Know When to Walk Away
Being a Christian doesn’t mean you have to stand there being the brunt of jokes and berated for your beliefs. There are times when you simply need to walk away. But here’s the thing, walk away with humble confidence. Don’t slink, cower, or run away. Pull yourself straight, turn around, and walk with bold confidence. And while you’re at it, pray for those berating you.
If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them. Luke 9:5 (NIV)
One Final Note
Always remember that your worth is not determined by what others think of you. You, my friend, are God’s son or daughter and He loves you beyond anything you can imagine. Nobody can change that, no matter what they think.