Show Respect in Evangelism



In InterVarsity, we work hard to show respect to the people we engage.

And this proves remarkably difficult when talking about the deep matters of our faith.

Perhaps you've experienced this.  A conversation about faith.  Some significant disagreement.  Your words can't convince.  It isn't as clear to them as it is to you.  You feel your face begin to flush.  Beat beatbeat beat. Your heart pumps a little faster.  And you start to say things.  Sarcastic things.  Snide things.  Arrogant things.

Disrespect.

When the flames of disrespect flicker behind my eyes, I'm a terrible evangelist.

Even if I'm talking about love and salvation and Jesus, that disrespect overwhelmes my words.  All my hearers hear is: "Breaking News - This guy thinks you're stupid, immoral, weak and ... mostly ... less than him."  And that sounds like bad news.

Showing respect is costly.

You don't get to say everything you want to say.
You don't get to show your depth of insight.
You don't get to share the full story.
You don't get to win.

But you might get heard. 

What do you think is the hardest part of showing respect in evangelism?

Photo courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com and Clarita

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