I recently was having a conversation with my friend about struggling to explain to others why I do the things I do. More specifically when it’s a conviction of which I know the Lord led me to. When I get put on the spot with “So why do you do that?” I begin fumbling through my answer and dancing around the truth of it. It’s not that I don’t want to be straight forward and share “Well God impressed (_____) on me and I want to trust and be obedient to the Spirits convictions.”
I get fearful.
I’m afraid that as I begin sharing about a conviction whoever I’m speaking to may feel awkward, judged, or offended (which is definitely not my goal) if they don’t share the same stance. The last thing I want to do is come off judgmental and hurtful.
Example: Within the last couple of years I have transitioned over to wearing tankini’s and one piece’s. You may remember a post I wrote 2 years back, The One Piece Challenge. The video I attached was what the Holy Spirit used to begin stirring my heart towards this choice. Since then by way of scripture, articles, and other personal testimonies God has revealed to me the importance and positive effects of this choice. He’s shown me many reasons for why I want to wear swimwear that’s a bit more covering but God has also revealed the condition of my heart and motives on this matter of bathing suits.
So there I was sitting next to a new friend, who is wearing a bikini, and she asks “Why do you wear tankinis?”
“Umm… well..” *awkward fumbling and dancing around answer*
I want to be prepared to give an answer (the real answer) without fear of offense. So I sought a few wiser then myself regarding “why do I struggle with this?” and here are some things the Holy Spirit spoke in the midst. I hope this helps anyone who has ever found themselves in a similar situation.
Make sure your heart is in the right place. Most of the time when our motives are truly godly people will know it. There was a time that my heart wasn’t right and God impressed me to pray through these verses.
*Psalm 139:23&24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
*Psalm 26:2&3 Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
Trust God. Trust His convictions. Trust Him as He gives opportunities to share what He’s laid on your heart that He’ll take care of the rest.
*Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Be concerned with God’s approval alone. I have to reconcile the fact that at some point God’s truth will offend somebody. It did in Jesus case. I won’t please everyone but I’ve made it my ambition to please God.
*Galatians 1:10b If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Be confident, gentle, and humble in your speech. HOW we share things is crucial. Rely on the Holy Spirit to help you share things graciously.
*Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
*Psalm 25:9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
*Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
*Philippians 4:4&5 Rejoice in the Lord…..Let your gentleness be known to all.
*Colossians 4:5&6 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
*Romans 15:5&6 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (My Zondervan NIV study Bible notes verse 5 “Not that believers should all come to the same conclusions on matters of conscience discussed above, but that they might agree to disagree in love.” Helpful to think about when with fellow Christians.)
Prepare yourself beforehand. I’ve found that a lot of times I can sense (clearly the Holy Spirits nudging) the possibility of being asked about something. Praying through all these scriptures would be wise. 🙂
*Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked spouts off evil things.
*1 Peter 3:13-16 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you are to suffer for what is right, you are blessed……But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
God wants us to trust him in our obedience regarding convictions but also trust him as we share how he is working in our life. He will use the testimony of our joyful devotion for His glory. 🙂