The Art of Spiritual Conversations
Are there good and bad ways to talk to someone about God? These speakers share their thoughts on how to start healthy spiritual conversations.
Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection
- Have you ever had someone start a spiritual conversation in a way that made you uncomfortable?
- Do you think it's important to have a relationship with someone before diving into spiritual conversations?
Yes. There are good and bad ways to have spiritual conversations, I think. Especially given the kind of environment that we live in.
So I think the approach in talking about God has to be one where we approach it with a lot of humility, not assuming we have all the answers, but that we can be a part of a conversation that we know people are longing to have, but maybe don't have a lot of outlets to have it.
And so I think it's really important that we don't have to feel we need to present the perfect, um, Christian answer, the perfect way of being a Christian. One, because it's a lie. Two, it doesn't help anybody anyway. So I think the best way is listening, talking, laughing, making it—making it as ordinary as you possibly can.
I don't know if it's ever good to try to force doctrine or proclamation on people you don't have any relationship with.
I want to be listening to someone else's story. I want to hear what is their background, how, what belief systems do they have.
So if you just ask questions, if you just really care about them. If you, if you wonder about the details of their lives, it's really natural to talk about spiritual things as well, since that's a big part of everybody's life. Even if they don't believe in God, they've thought about it, and they have thoughts about it.
Every time I've said, "So you've never had a religious experience," everyone I've asked has said, "Oh, yeah, ah yeah. No, I have had religious experiences, and I'll just say, "Well, tell me what's your favorite religious experience. Now, you'd be astonished what people say.
To have conversations about that, it, it really offers people who might be searching, hope.
I think it's important if we believe in this truth. If, uh, if I had a friend who forgot how to breathe, uh, I would do anything to, um, try to get them to breathe again. It's—it's that important. It's that—it's that true, and I think if we were to go with that perspective in mind, it wouldn't just change our conversations. It would change the way we lived our lives. We would understand that everything we do is a testimony, um, to this Christ that we claim to follow, and this lifestyle that we say that we truly believe in.