I’ve been asked this question several times since publishing Tell It Well. “How do I talk about God to people who don’t share the same beliefs as I do,” is a question central to the theme of my book. I asked this question because it’s challenging and complex.
There isn’t one right way, but I believe there is a right mindset we need to cultivate.
Religion and faith are deeply personal matters. So when sharing about our relationships with God, it’s imperative that we share from a personal perspective. Allow your personal journey to open up space for others to relate to your story. We should be careful not to use language that assumes everyone agrees, or should agree, with us.
It is the Holy Spirit who beckons hearts and reveals the mystery of Christ: “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Our role is not to convict hearts through our stories, but to represent a faith that changes lives. The best thing we can do is live and share our stories in a way that causes others to ask questions about God.
Stories are so powerful because they take theology and make it personal. They make age-old traditions and texts relevant. Our stories bear witness to the reality that Jesus is alive and his presence in us makes a difference.
We believe that Jesus Christ is powerful and active. This belief inspires us to share with others how he is in working in our lives, and give him glory for the work he is orchestrating. When we speak up as witnesses to the transformation we are seeing, we invite others into a perspective that may be new to them. We can share how Jesus has redeemed us, and how he is redeeming us, without being judgmental of someone else for thinking or believing differently.
Sharing our stories should be an invitation. We invite others into our journey and beliefs, and we welcome them to share theirs with us. We can trust the Holy Spirit to work and inspire curiosity or questions in the hearts of people who hear our stories.
If you feel uncertain about how to include God in your story, try approaching it from one of these angles:
What characteristics of God do you see at work?
Some examples could be:
- Creator (Genesis 1:1)
- Refuge & Strength (Psalm 62:7)
- The God Who Sees (Genesis 16:13)
- The Lord, Our Provider (Genesis 22:14)
- The Lord Our Peace (Psalm 29:11)
- Shepherd (Genesis 49:15)
- Light (Psalm 27:1)
- Eternal God (Genesis 21:33)
- Deliverer (Psalm 18:2)