If you live your Christianity openly and consistently from day to day, your faith is going to be challenged. We live in a world where secular humanism has become the norm; where God has been driven out of the classroom, workplace, and public square. As a society we are paying a price for turning our backs on God. That price can be seen in the mass shootings, road rage, workplace violence, sex trafficking, and drug abuse that have become so common in American society, not to mention the thousands of unborn babies who are killed every year for no reason other than convenience. As a society, we are reaping what we have sown.
It is not an easy time to be a Christian. What is even worse is that the closer you walk with God in all aspects of your daily life, the more often your faith is going to be challenged, rejected, questioned, or ridiculed. Believers are being told they cannot keep Bibles on their desks at work, pray before meetings, hold prayer breakfasts on the premises before work, or even have pro-choice bumper stickers on their cars. Christian speakers are no longer invited to address audiences on colleges campuses or they are shouted down in those rare instances when they are invited.
It is tempting to lash out and give the anti-Christian crowd a taste of their own medicine. However, this is just the opposite of how Christ expects his children to respond. When your faith is challenged, Christ wants you to view the situation as an opportunity rather than a chance to out debate an unbeliever. In Philippians 4:9, Christ tells us we are to practice the things we have learned from him—to follow his example. Although we are expected to stand up and speak out in defense of our faith, how we go about doing this is important.
When responding to faith-related challenges, it is always best to make your point without making an enemy. In every situation we face in life, the Lord expects us to respond in ways that reflect the image of Christ. When we interact with unbelievers, Christ wants us to be open and truthful concerning his Word, but he also wants us to drive in the nail without breaking the board. Using our Biblical knowledge and debating skills to verbally smite opponents might feel good in the moment, but it’s I not likely to win unbelievers to Christ.
Our goal when responding to faith-related challenges is to be a good witness for Christ; to show unbelievers a better way. Those who reject our faith are not likely to be moved to accept Christ when our response to their rejection is condemnation. Setting a consistent Christ-like example for unbelievers is more likely to win converts for Christ than verbally upbraiding them. Showing others an example of what the Bible teaches can be a powerful response to faith-related challenges. Further, a good Christian example is an appropriate response in any setting—in school, at work, or anywhere else. There may be policies forbidding witnessing at work or in school, but there are no policies against setting a good Christian example, nor can there be.
When you consistently model the Word of God for others, you are more likely to be invited by unbelievers to explain what it says about the problems they face in life. Further, no matter what you say to unbelievers about the Gospel, your words will have more power if they are supported by your example. The most effective method for showing unbelievers a better way is to do just that: show them. People respond more readily and more positively to actions than to words. Always remember this when you face faith-related challenges: People who reject your faith are more like to be led into the arms of Christ than argued into them.
Dr. Goetsch is the author of Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press and Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith, Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, 2019: www.david-goetsch.com