guest post by Megan Almon
Here’s the deal…
It’s Christmas (as if the post-Halloween tsunami of red and green didn’t give that away). And if those around you know that you love Jesus, they’re expecting you to talk about him. Actually—counter-intuitive though it may seem for those who try so hard to be spiritually “normal”—for a Christian not to talk about Jesus at Christmas would be the weird thing to do, even among your non-believing friends and relatives.
The trick—or rather the prayer—is to make those conversations meaningful.
Here are a few practical tips:
Pray. Specifically, pray for opportunities to have meaningful conversations, and that you’ll both recognize and have the boldness to seize those opportunities. You may even pray for those opportunities to arise with specific individuals.
Remember the words “objective truth.” To be a Christian doesn’t mean that we picked Christianity from a display of world religions like we’d pick an ice cream flavor. It means we think Christianity is objectively true—the kind of truth that exists independently of any individual’s preferences. Objective truths are the kind you discover about the world (rather than create). That’s incredibly freeing for the Christian, because it means that someone disagreeing with you isn’t a personal attack against you. In other words, to say that some aspect of Christianity isn’t true would be equated with saying “2+2=5.” You can relax a little and just do your best to graciously point others to the Person of Truth.
Ask good questions. So often, Christians feel the need to be the ones talking. A lot. If we take the advice above, it allows us to relax enough to learn about others by asking meaningful questions. Questions do several things. They take the heat off of the asker, and allow him/her to gather information. They establish a relational bond, because they increase the curiosity of the one asking, and feelings of respect and appreciation in the one answering. Lastly, if wrong thinking rears its head, questions allow the Christian to graciously point to the truth.
Here are a few good questions for this time of year:
- Why do you think we give gifts at Christmas? Have you considered that the Bible talks about the Incarnation being the gift that can’t be outdone?
- What are some of the greatest Christmas memories you have? What makes them great?
- What would be needed to create the perfect Christmas? Why those things? Have you considered that even if you had all of those things, you’d still want more? Why do you think that is?
Keep in mind that secular culture preaches constantly—just more loudly in December—that we can place our hope in things, individuals, traditions, etc., and find ultimate satisfaction. Problem is, nobody finds that satisfaction. The day after Christmas is one marked by depression for many, and a rush to create New Year’s resolutions so that we won’t make the same mistakes in preparation for next Christmas.
Scripture tells us that we were created with an eternal desire, one that can only be satisfied by an eternal God who made himself known to us, and who gives us the gift of his life—eternal life—through his death.
But that’s another holiday. And another opportunity for meaningful conversations.
Megan Almon will be the keynote speaker at our 2015 Women’s Conference in March. She has a master’s degree in apologetics and as a pastor’s wife, she has a heart for the broken. She has the tenacity to stand on truth in her presentations, but also the gift of listening well and connecting to her audience. Megan and her husband Tripp have been married since 2003 and have two children. A former University of Georgia Gymdog and an award-winning journalist, Megan enjoys spending time with her family at their log cabin in Newnan and is still known to practice handstands in her living room and occasionally coach the sport she still loves.