Difficult Conversations Around the Holidays

The holidays are upon us. For some of us the holidays started in September. It takes my family awhile to put up the tree. Our’s is fake so there’s really no rush. The kids enjoy decorating and it’s nice to see the teamwork between them as they make sure every ornament and light is in its proper place.

Before we get to Christmas we have to skate through Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of the food and time spent with family. I love it.

It can also be a time where all sorts of chatter arises. Lots and lots of chatter about politics, sports, and sometimes religion. Are you the only saved person in your family? Are there a few of you in your family who follow Christ? If you are the only person in your family who’s saved being in such close proximity with non-believers can be difficult. Though we are are often around unbelievers daily in various other settings, when we’re around unsaved family it’s kind of different. These are our people; we love them! Some are our siblings or cousins who we’ve done good and bad things with. Some are our favorite aunts or uncles who have always been there to support us. Some are professing believers that bear no fruit and act as non-believers. Yeah, I have those kinds of friends and family too.

So, here you are on the couch recovering from your food coma and your favorite Uncle asks you, “What do you think about that racist Donald Trump?” Just like that. Now, they know you are saved and that you live a life following Christ. So, why did they ask you that? Maybe they are looking for a reaction. Maybe they are sincerely curious as to what your response will be.

What happens if that one cousin-- ya know the one who you took baths with, the one who you did everything with-- asks, “How can you believe in God? Do you see all the craziness in the world?”

How about that one family member who professes to be a believer but bears little to no fruit. Tonight they tell you, “Live a little; it’s Thanksgiving. Let’s get drunk tonight!” Now, these scenarios may never happen to you, or they may happen and the verbiage is slightly different. How will you respond?

In my opinion I consider any time these topics are brought up by a non-believer as a blessing! Why? This is an opportunity to share the gospel! I don’t know about you but there have been times when I basically had to take a topic that we were discussing referencing rocks and try my hardest to get the gospel in there. It was tough, but somehow I correlated rocks, and mountains to God being the creator of everything:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” —Genesis 1:1”

It wasn’t my most graceful attempt at sharing the gospel but believe me, we got there. When a family member asks you a question like one of those listed above it’s a puuuuurfect opportunity to share the gospel.

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone," Col. 4:5-6

Simply put, this is your chance. You must be wise when interacting with a non-believer. A bit of the gospel’s reputation depends on your response. A non-believer who asks a question may have their heart hardened towards the Word. This person may have a rebuttal for every comment you make.

So, when Uncle Joe asks, “What do you think about that racist Donald Trump?”

You could choose to respond in a number of ways. Scripture states that we are not citizens of this world. Philippians 3:20 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” For me, as a Christian, that reminder is always present in my mind so it is easy for me to distance myself from all the chaos politics can bring. Not just politics but countless other worldly issues. While I am on this side of eternity I strive to be a good citizen. So, you can respond with letting them know you adhere to scripture’s command and you choose to pray for him.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Do I agree with all of his policies and comments? Absolutely NOT. Do I cringe when I hear some of the things he says? Yes. That does not take away from what my duty as a Christian is. I pray for him and his family. I honor what scripture says:

“Romans 13:1 - Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” There is really no wiggle room.

See how that works? Take it back to God's word and use it as an opportunity to share the gospel. The conversation could sound like this:

“I know it is hard Uncle Joe, That’s why my hope, and my brothers and sisters in Christ have hope, in Jesus. If our hope is in this world we are going to continuously be disappointed.” I usually then follow up with Romans 6:23 “God is holy, but we are human and don’t measure up to His perfect standard. We are sinful, and “the wages of sin is death”

What about when the other two scenarios are brought up? How do you respond? You respond the way scripture commands you to. In any scenario with a non-believer you take it back scripture. You let your family members know why you choose to believe in God even in this crazy world. You will revert back to scripture when you explain to your family member why enjoying a wild night of drunkenness is unacceptable.

What if none of these scenarios happen, but you are still in a room full of non-believers? You STILL need to share the gospel. As Christians we cannot become complacent about sharing the gospel. We can’t. We have to take the initiative. We must be prepared to share it at any time. 1st Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

We are set apart from the world and must behave differently. Our actions and speech should mimic Christ. People of this world are going to be curious as to how you respond to all of the craziness surrounding us. Take this opportunity to share the gospel. TAKE IT! Don’t add to the gospel. Just share it. Share the goodness of Jesus Christ and our need for him. Share your testimony and give God the glory in it. Be gentle and kind in your speech but always point back to Christ. ALWAYS. I hope this helps.

As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me an email.

Have you ever encountered the scenarios I’ve presented or something similar? Please share in the comments below!


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