Dear Healed by Wounds,
It is hard to be known as a Christian these days. There are so many people against the message of Christ that once they find out you’re a Christian, you can forget about being taken seriously. How can I share the love and truth of Christ in a world that seems to be increasingly anti-Christian?
—Saved by Grace
Dear Saved by Grace,
I feel you. This is something I’ve struggled with often. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time thinking about this and reading what others have said on this very topic. To deal with this kind of situation, I’m working on a technique that I call “The Frog in the Pot”. The name of the technique is a bit strange, granted. But please hear me out.
I first got this idea when I heard about a science experiment involving frogs, pots and different water temperatures. Maybe you’ve heard about this experiment. Let me give a disclaimer before I explain further. I have not tried this experiment myself, nor do I have any plan to do so. I’m not that kind of scientist!
Apparently, if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog will hop right back out again in obvious pain. However, if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and slowly turn up the heat, it will stay in the pot and eventually boil to death. As the water gets warmer, the frog acclimates to the water so it doesn’t notice it getting hotter until it’s too late.
My “frog in the pot” technique is to tell you not to let on right away to everyone that you are a Christian. The reason for this is so you don’t scare non-Christians away or face them potentially labeling you as “hateful, intolerant, judgmental and biased” before they even get to know you. This does happen sometimes, unfortunately.
This is usually from a misunderstanding by the person who labels you as such, so try not to hold it against them. However, don’t let it slide either. Ask them what they mean by such a label. Maybe they have had bad experiences with “Christians” before and aren’t willing to be duped again. Let them know you are sorry for any such experience.
This technique isn’t to hide the fact that you’re a Christian, but rather to get people used to seeing Christ in you with the hope that they will come to the conclusion on their own that you are a Christian, as evidenced by your words and deeds. I’m also not saying to deny that you are a Christian if somebody asks you. Admit it gracefully.
I get to know people, ask them what they believe and learn their story. Then if they ask me about my beliefs, I tell them that I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth and look for ways to discuss the good evidence for Christianity. If I do a good job sharing this evidence with them, the hope is that they will be more open to finding out I’m a Christian.
By the time they find out I’m a Christian, it is like the frog finding out too late that it is boiling in water! But in this instance, the outcome is good because I’ve gotten to share the truth of Christianity with them in a slow-paced continual progression that should come across to them as anything but hateful, intolerant judgmental and biased.
Well, like I said I am still working on this technique. It’s a work in progress. But isn’t it better to be Christ-like than to say you are Christ-like? “Actions speak louder than words” isn’t a trite saying. It’s trustworthy and true.
People should recognize Christians by their love, compassion and service. You could be setting yourself up for failure by going around saying, “I’m a Christian!” If other people don’t see Christ in you, what good can come from being known as a Christian?
Until next time, I am, and always will be, Healed by Wounds.