“Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly” (2 Timothy 2:16 NIV).
When I hear someone or see someone use scripture out of context, I am so tempted to jump right in and correct them. The same is true when people attempt to attribute certain things to God or to belittle what God has said. I have come to the conclusion that when people want to be ignorant, there is nothing anyone else can do. So, instead of engaging in unproductive conversation, I pray for them and when opportunity presents itself, I let them know I’m praying for them.
If we engage in stupidity, we tend to become like those who initiated it and the more we talk, the leverage we give them because they know we are easily swayed. Our role, when we hear or see foolishness, is to walk away and pray. As hard as that sounds, we must make it happen. We do not wish to give the foolish, fuel to use to ignite godless chatter because that is what it will be if we engage.
A fool is known by their inability to stop talking about foolishness. Are we fools–other than for Christ? I’m not. If we simply limit our Godly conversation about His love, mercy, and grace–we have opened the door–hopefully for another opportunity to get more involved in a conversation that will yield or produce interest in someone hearing more. If we simply attempt to beat people over the head with enumerating their sins, we open the door for them to attack–with godless chatter–in defense of their behavior and we lose ground if we engage. If we really want people to receive the Good News, we need to use a balanced approach–share His love and then tell them how to be a recipient of all He has for them.
First conversation with limited time: “Hello. How are you today? May I have a few moments of your time? I’d like to share the love of God with you. God loves you and wants only the best for you.”
First conversation with more time: “Do you know the Lord as Savior? Would you like to know more? He loves you enough that He died for you and wants to make sure you have opportunity to enjoy the abundant life He has in store for you.”
Of course, these conversations will vary, but hopefully, they are enough to open the door for anyone to share the Good News. We must all remember that, “one who wins souls, must be wise.” Exercise wisdom in all things and don’t become an antagonist trying to win someone to Christ. When we become the antagonist, we give Satan opportunity to win, not us.
If people do not want to hear what we have to say, thank them for their time and move on. If they engage in ungodly conversation, let them quibble; walk away and move on. If they choose to listen, then captivate your audience with God’s love and plant a seed or water one and see God’s Kingdom grow.
I loved this post. I get tempted to join in the “arguments” online when the atheists get going, but if I stop and ask God what to do, He usually tells me to move on. Once in a while I will post a scripture and then move on. Some of them just want to argue, they don’t want the truth. We have to be wise, like you said! (And then pray for them behind their back 😉 )
Sue, I’ve been there. I think that’s why this passage of scripture spoke to me this morning. When they respond to something I’ve said, I usually acknowledge they have a right to believe whatever they want to believe, let them know I’m praying for them, and stop responding. That usually stops the torrential flood of negativity. Love to love you!