I was reminded the other night how critical the manner in which we dialogue about the gospel can be either a barrier or a catalyst to someone actually hearing the gospel. I’m currently dialoguing with a couple of Mormon missionaries who’ve been assigned to my neighborhood by…well by whoever assigns missionaries there. We’ve met 3 or 4 times now which consists of a fairly formal conversation in my living room. Here’s what I’m learning. Though these guys are 19 & 20 years old and I am very confident I can build a more convincing case for Christianity than they can for Mormonism, I must speak truth to these men with love. My apologetics professor in seminary used to regularly caution us against winning arguments that lose souls. In other words, I must not let my prideful desire to be “Right” get in the way of loving these guys who need to know Christ & be set free from the lies they are currently believing. And especially with these guys who’ve been in mormonism their entire lives, it will take a friendship to likely lead them to christ more than an argument.
Then it hit me, this should be no different in any other relationship I have. Speak the truth with love. Never compromise truth (I’ve not once compromised the gospel with these young men). But I have arguments with my wife regularly where I have to be RIGHT and I need her to see I’m right. In doing so I may win the argument but significantly hurt her in the process. I will do more damage than good. I have to care for her in the way I approach conflict. Am I loving my wife & caring for her good in my word choice and my manner of approach to conflict? If I’m not, I am certainly not honoring God or following Paul’s commands in Eph 5 to husbands.
So this week at work, at home, etc, speak truth with love.