5 ways to Burst Bubbles

Pray that I manifest the good news as I should. Walk wisely among those outside;* redeeming** the time. Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt. Know how you must answer each person. Col. 4:4-5

So how do we engage with those who have not yet acknowledged Christ’s good news and those who consider themselves “outside” our faith?

1. Live outside the bubble. When we only talk with and hang with people who share our ideas and interests we create cultural bubbles. Sadly, our culture seems to be be moving toward an “us and them” mentality steeped in animosity and suspicion of everyone perceived to be “outside” our particular bubbles. Imagine the impact of living openly and freely, defying categorization or definition. Jesus.
2. Listen. Listening communicates that you value the speaker. Listening communicates motives of love and grace. Don’t think about how you are going to respond or counter. Just listen to know them. Ask questions to understand how they got where they are in their lives and their thinking.
3. Live respectfully with the tension of disagreement. Many “outside” the Christian faith have formed opinions about the mission and motives of Christ and of Christians based on unwise and graceless efforts of well-meaning Christians. Silence and “I don’t know” are perfectly acceptable responses. “I was wrong about that” can be golden.
4. Trust God with the time. Rushing in frantically and forcefully, determined to get agreement to your message, is no way to redeem the time. You are there to build a relationship not to sell a product.
5. Give the Holy Spirit room. Trust that God’s desire to be known is greater than your desire for that person to know Him. Recognize that a person’s awareness or acknowledgement of God does not necessarily reflect the extent of God’s involvement in their lives. Don’t expect another person’s experience to look like yours.

Lord, help me to manifest the good, gracious, free, and loving nature of Your message in all my relationships.

*exō means “outside”
**exagorazō means “redeeming, in the context of the time, redeeming slaves to freedom”