By Samuel Lam
One of the challenges I have always had when it comes to my faith is explaining it to other people. It’s not that bad when I am talking with someone who is open to learning and understanding my faith journey. The tough part is when I get into a discussion with someone who has a firm stance that doesn’t match my views.
It happens all the time when it comes to faith. We try to convince other people that our God is the almighty creator and that what they believe is wrong. Of course, we don’t say it that way. We have to carefully choose our words because we don’t want to portray God or Christians in a negative light. But of course, sometimes our emotions get to us and we refuse to accept that whomever we’re talking with is wrong.
Maybe our discussion is with a fellow believer, but their stance on certain topics aren’t things you agree with. Topics such as the death penalty and gay marriage has always been split among my fellow Christian friends. And when we discuss it, it’s hard not to get defensive. Fortunately, for the most part, these discussions have never escalated to anything out of control.
But I’ve also encountered people who are against God and find numerous different facts and writings to counter my argument. I see a lot of this online and I am tempted at times to try to debate them, even though I know it will just lead to more banter.
I don’t know if the person on the other side is serious or just trolling. In fact, I don’t even know if the person on the other side is male or female, teenager or some grandpa. It’s so hard to resist not correcting them because what they are saying about my God is false.
Sometimes when it is with a person I do know, it just gets more heated and every now and then, it might get personal.
My mom once told me this a long time ago that has stuck with me: “One who argues with a fool is the fool.” She said that even if the other person is completely wrong, arguing with them only weakens my argument and any credibility I had. I sink down to where they want me. When it comes to faith, our goal isn’t to correct people and to tell them that they are wrong.
We are supposed to share what we believe is right. And if they oppose, so be it. It is not meant to be a shouting war or anything of that nature. We are here to plant the seed whether or not they want any of it. God will water the seed. It’s sometimes OK to let them be wrong because it’s not my place to correct them. We can’t correct everybody in the world.
It’s not easy, especially for me sometimes, just to let it go and concede the argument even if there is no resolution. It lingers in my heart that they may believe something that I don’t believe. But I know that I can’t close the door on anyone. Who knows if they have a change of heart or their curiosity grows?
But as I remember whenever Jesus preached and people opposed Him, He said what he believed and let it be. The Word was and is that powerful. If they’re wrong, I just have to remember that and let God water that seed. I just have to keep the door open… without the shouting of course.
Samuel Lam: Samuel is a Bay Area native living in Southern California working in sports media. He blogs on many topics, including sports, music, movies, travel and especially faith. Sam also runs his own personal sports blog on his free time. Check him out at: Green Eggs and Lam & But At The End Of The Day.