This topic is adapted from the PursueGod Video YouTube channel.
Having relationships and conversations with your friends who don’t have the same religion as you can be meaningful and full of growth for both of you. But often, we will either avoid having any type of conversation about Jesus or let it turn into an argument over religious details.
Any conversation where one person is pushing his or her personal agenda ends up feeling like a power play, where one person appears to have the correct and superior understanding. This kind of talk goes absolutely nowhere good and can cause a rift between friends.
Here are some tips for having meaningful conversations that focus on the love of Jesus instead of the complexities of religion:
- Don’t make someone feel like a lesser person just because they don’t have the same religion as you. We are all created in God’s image, which means that it is our job to treat everyone as God’s image-bearers. Feeling like someone is talking down to you is never a good time.
- Don’t be too quick to push your beliefs; hear the other person out. We don’t learn or grow by living in a bubble and not hearing people out. You’ll be able to focus on the wonderful similarities you both have if you’re willing to listen to what he or she is saying.
- Don’t make it a lesson, make it a conversation. If both people are not contributing, it is not a conversation. Take turns sharing ideas and build off of what each of you says.
- Focus on the love of Jesus instead of the technicalities of religion. The Bible shows that we should love God and love others. You can fill endless conversations talking about the love of Jesus that will benefit the both of you and those around you. Keep Jesus at the center of your heart, your relationships, and your conversations.
Written content for this topic by Andi Dolinsky-Webb.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Have you ever been part of a conversation that turned into a debate over religious beliefs? If so, what were your feelings during and after the conversation?
- Read 2 Timothy 2:16. How can this kind of foolish talk lead to other negative behaviors?
- How can you steer the conversation back to Jesus when the other person tries to bring up religious technicalities?
- What are some ways you can respectfully leave a conversation that is going in the wrong direction?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.