THREE words to fight frustration when sharing God’s Word
Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others is one of the most daunting exercises of our faith.
I wonder how many bucket lists include going door-to-door to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is what I was thinking when I walked up to my first door in Provo, Utah. A different religion. A different culture. Anxious thoughts were accompanying every “what if?” question.
How will they respond? What if I look foolish? Will I be confronted with anger? Am I going to receive a police escort out of town?
After three mission trips to Utah, none of my fears or concerns ever materialized.
The biggest challenge in sharing the gospel with others is confronting my weak knees.
The greatest obstacle in going door-to-door in Provo is an unexpected one. It drives to the heart of contrasting gospels that can cause a believer to shake in their boots or get so frustrated that they will never witness again.
What do you do when a follower of Mormonism constantly agrees with you?
I recently received an email from a pastor in Oklahoma who recently visited with two sister missionaries who knocked on his door on a late Sunday afternoon. He wrote,
“They were so nice and wanted to discuss back and forth. But, every word they spoke in many ways sounded so Lutheran. It was such a challenge knowing that they are a works righteous religion yet having them sound so non-works righteous. They agreed with so much of what we said. I was trying to concentrate on law and gospel and able to effectively get the law out. They agreed. The gospel was presented a number of times. They agreed. I detected a few times where they let it out a little bit the part about the works, but they quickly moved away from it.”
One of the most frustrating challenges of sharing God’s Word with Mormons is when they constantly agree with you on everything. It can be irritating for both you and the Mormon. When frustration and irritation seep into our witness it becomes very hard to be loving and patient.
When going door-to-door in Provo, it was very helpful to remember the following three words: REJOICE, ASK, and DEFINE.
1. REJOICE that the Lord has given you the opportunity to share His Word.
Rejoicing is a fruit-filled response to divine opportunities the Lord provides to be his ambassador. But it’s not always easy. When frustration or anger seeps into our witness, take a deep breath. Prayerfully take a brief timeout. This will remind us to rely on God’s help and strength so we can focus on sharing his message, not win the debate.
2. Politely request to DEFINE a word.
The brilliance behind the teachings of Mormonism is that they use common Christian terms, but with an entirely different understanding. As a result, it is common to talk past each other. It is imperative to take the time to define key terms carefully (e.g. salvation, forgiveness) before sharing God’s Word.
3. ASK a Mormon what they believe instead of telling them what they believe.
Mormons love to talk about their faith. They will feel respected when asked, not ridiculed or put on the defensive. Ask, “What does the word forgiveness mean to you?” “What does the word ‘salvation’ mean?” The longer Mormons talk about their faith they will inevitably bring up the necessity of obedience to earn the forgiveness of sin. Then, you can lovingly refer to their words to contrast what the Bible teaches. No longer on the defensive, most Mormons will be genuinely surprised at the stark comparisons.
One of the greatest joys of being God’s ambassadors to souls lost in the false teachings of Mormonism is when you share the true gospel with them for the first time. I’m convinced that many Mormons who have grown up in multi-generational LDS families have never been presented with the truth about God’s grace and full forgiveness in Christ in a way they can understand.
The next time a Mormon constantly agrees with you when talking about the Bible, remember these three key words: rejoice, ask, and define.
Most importantly, in all that you do and say, speak the truth with the love of Christ.
Excerpts originally posted at tilm.org.
Why stress over already paid bills?
In this blog post on tilm.org, Mark Cares asks what message are we sending when we stress about our sins and wallow in guilt. Since He is the one who paid our debt, God could easily think that we don’t think he’s very trustworthy. What message are we sending to others when we fret over our sins already forgiven? Click here to read more.