So you finally worked up the courage to share your faith with a group of friends, and BOOM — there was that one friend who decided to be rude…
We’ve all experienced this kind of situation before, so when we received this question from our yesHEis community, we knew it would be a common thread!
Our advice is to, first up, remember whose you are and to not take it personally.
Remember your identity in Christ and ask God to help you lead the conversation to a healthier state.
When someone responds negatively to a conversation, there’s usually an underlying reason for it. Look past the response to understand what it is they are actually saying and why they are saying it.
Listen for the key
We once received a message from a guy who was swearing up a storm. But in the midst of the fiery language was the serious question, “Why do priests abuse boys?”
See, if we’re too busy being offended by the surface level stuff, we may miss the key to the underlying heart cry. Listening out for the key helps determine where to take the conversation.
Identify with them
We were able to write back to this guy to say we were so pleased to hear from him and that he had asked a great question. We were able to agree with him and say that abuse of any kind is not ok, and that it breaks God’s heart as well as ours.
Open the conversation
The next step after identifying with the person is to ask questions about what they have said. This can lead to them opening up about why they have responded in the way they have. In our conversation with the guy who wrote to us, we simply asked, “Has something like this happened to you?” Sadly, the answer was ‘yes’.
So can you see how these three simple conversation steerers can really open up a conversation that has been previously shut down?
Perhaps you can think of a friend or family member right now that has been hostile towards you in the past? Why not reach out to them today to have another go at a conversation!