I’ve been reading the book of Acts while having my morning tea with Jesus. Just finished with chapters seventeen, eighteen and nineteen, and I was struck by how many times Luke says that Paul “was reasoning…and trying to persuade” the Jews and Greeks regarding the kingdom of God.
I’m a rabbit trail kind of gal, so that reminded me of the old saying/meme/bumper sticker that says, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” I hate that saying. Why? A couple of reasons.
Number one: Truth is truth whether I believe it or not. Saying it’s settled because I believe it is all kinds of arrogant.
Number two: It seems to elevate the idea of “checking our brains at the door” when it comes to faith.
Paul didn’t do that. He reasoned and persuaded his audiences—be they Jews or Greeks.
When I decide that using logic, science, and persuasive argument demonstrates a lack of faith, I’ve neglected a vital avenue for sharing the kingdom of God.
I Peter 3:15 says, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” The word defense comes from the word apologia which comes from logos meaning “word.” It carries with it the idea of giving an account, instructions, a report.
I’m determined to make sure I have sound reasons for the hope that is in me. Those reasons are more than a feeling…(Is that a song? I know…rabbit trail.) Feelings can be misleading. Those reasons are also more than my experiences… Although experiences and feelings can’t be argued with, they are also vulnerable to misinterpretation.
Truth, however, will be revealed sooner or later. If I start there, I’ll always be on a firm foundation.
Father, there are people You place in my path so I can reason and persuade them regarding Your kingdom. Make me a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed—one who handles accurately the Word of Truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) I know full well my unfortunate desire to WIN arguments. At any cost. No matter who get s hurt. There’s a reason Peter finished that verse with “…yet with gentleness and reverence.” May my words always be tempered with Your love.