It only takes a handful of falling-outs before one becomes a wholehearted supporter of the cliché, “Never talk religion or politics!” We all know the reason those two topics turn friends into foes and families into enemies. They are divisive topics and the stakes are high—like life-or-death, heaven-or-hell high. Everyone feels strongly, one way or the other, so if you find yourself planted at a holiday dinner party, sharing a casserole with a smattering of diverse political and religious opinions, it’s usually wise to stick to lighter topics like weather and/or reality TV shows.
The problem is, as Jesus followers, we believe that the truth about Jesus leads to forever-life and the lie leads to actual death. So we need to talk about Him, even if that doesn’t ensure total casserole comfort status.
Bible Studies for Life recently conducted research about people talking politics versus people talking about their faith. One interesting finding was that even though people agree with the cliché “never talk politics or religion,” people are far more likely to talk about politics. Even Christians.
According to the survey, 6 out of 10 are more comfortable talking about their political views than their spiritual views. Less than half of those interviewed in this survey have had at least three discussions about their spiritual beliefs, but 64% of them have had at least three discussions about their political beliefs.
What in the world? Why is this the case?
Perhaps it’s because the stakes of politics aren’t as high as the stakes of faith. No matter which political candidate gets elected this year and no matter what laws get passed or repealed, the impact of a more or less healthy American society is a short-term thing. Souls last forever, and to talk about Jesus is to talk about every soul’s need for God and the ever-after stakes that go along with that.
Higher stakes equal stronger opinions, and stronger opinions equal bigger reactions, and bigger reactions equal lines in the sand. Relationships and comfort are important to us, so we try to keep the peace. We think that keeping things light and happy is the key to healthy relationships. The problem with that is it’s simply not true. Relationships that are based solely on frivolity will only go as deep as a Yahoo recap of last night’s episode of The Bachelor.
If relationships are truly important to us, and if we really believe that the Bible is true, we need to care more about sharing the truth of the gospel than we care about everyone being comfortable.
Thankfully, you don’t have to plod around awkwardly or hold up warning signs on the side of the street to get the message of Jesus to the people in your life. You just need to be intentional about letting the Bible filter out of you in your everyday life.
That means you might be so fortunate as to enjoy a casserole with your people AND share the hope of Jesus with them in a way that captivates rather than alienates.
Beginning this fall, you can pick up two new resources that will help you share your faith. One is a study called Unstoppable Gospel that will show you the exciting early days of the church and help you rediscover what made it so powerful and unstoppable. The other is a study called Unvarnished Truth, a great tool to help you reach the lost. If you want to know more about how Bible Studies for Life can help you connect God’s Word to your life in an intentional way, go to biblestudiesforlife.com for a free preview.
Scarlet Hiltibidal is a writer living in Nashville, TN. Scarlet has a degree in biblical counseling and worked as a Christian schoolteacher before she started writing. She has written for and managed various online publications. Currently, she writes small group curriculum for children and articles on motherhood for Smart Mom. Scarlet is wife to Brandon, who is part of the Groups Ministry Team at Lifeway, and Mommy to her daughters, Ever Grace and Brooklyn Hope. Visit her blog at scarlethiltibidal.com and follow her on Twitter @ScarletEH.