One of the greatest fears to plague us in witnessing is the possibility of being asked questions we don’t know how to answer. Let’s look at the principle that Paul gives us. Having the right answer or knowing what to say is important, but so is using the right manner of speech or knowing how to say it.
Our answers are to be full of grace. When we provide the right answer in the wrong manner, we often get involved in verbal sparring that wounds the participant and threatens the relationship. A grace-filled answer may foster a deeper relationship. It will express understanding for what the other person thinks and why it is important to them. But it will also share the truth in a way that invites further engagement and conversation. We should answer with grace and truth.
The most effective bridges are built with grace and truth.
Take a Step
Identify someone on your prayer list who appears closed to spiritual issues. Ask that person what bothers him most about religion. Don’t try to provide the right answer this time. Just listen and understand. Tell him/her that sometime later you’d like to talk more about it.