A 4-Way Approach to Sharing Your Faith

One day a young Catholic friend of mine updated her Facebook status to say,

“I am Catholic. Jesus Christ established my religion, who established yours?”

This was quickly answered by someone with,

“Jesus Christ established my religion too and I’m Baptist”

What did I respond to this? Nothing.

A few months ago, some of my co-workers attended a Catholic funeral. Aside from the obvious differences from their home churches such as the music and overall reverence, my co-workers asked me what the difference is between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches.

Now, what did I respond to this? “Well… umm…” Yeah, great answer.

I read a lot. I mean, a whole lot. I have read over 100 Catholic books, I am sure.

I also love to listen to Catholic podcasts. I know I have logged many, many hours of listening to Catholic talk.

So, if I know the answers, why do I have a problem with sharing my faith in ways that may get someone’s feathers ruffled?

I think it has a lot to do with my personality. There are two things that I try to avoid: controversy and showing emotions in public. Knowing that these two things trigger my “flight” mechanism, I think that I subconsciously avoid them at all costs, sometimes causing me to lose the opportunity to share my faith.

What can I do so that I can share my faith without triggering my “flight” response?

1. Identify my “hot buttons.”

What is it that makes me flee? In this case, it is potential arguments about my faith.

If I were to say something that others do not want to hear, I am afraid that I will get so upset that I will be incoherent and sound like a babbling idiot.

2. Identify the worst case scenario.

What is the worst that could happen if I share my faith with this person? In the case of my young friend’s Facebook status, the worst that can happen is an online argument.

With my co-workers, relationships could be broken and animosity could come between us.

Now that I know the worst scenario…

3. Identify the best case scenario.

This is easy: I could bring them all closer to Jesus Christ. I dare say, it could even lead to a conversion with His help!

4. Weigh the worst case and best case scenarios to decide on an approach.

Weighing the worst case scenario with the best scenario can lead me to decide the way I should go with my conversation.

With the first lady, I think I blew it. I should have gone at her full-blast with my arsenal of Catholic knowledge. There are plenty of resources online that I could have posted as links. If it ended up in an argument, I can block her from my Facebook profile and move on.

In the second scenario, I still blew it, BUT I now know that coming at my co-workers too harshly would not have been a good idea.

I need to learn a rote response for people are interested in what Catholics believe. This would take my emotions out and offer a satisfactory answer.

I think that, if we take the time to learn where we make mistakes in sharing our faith, and then apply the above principles of weighing the worst case scenario and the best case scenario, we can all learn to share our faith in a way that is respectful of others but also respectfully promoting Catholicism, the only religion established by Jesus Christ himself.

Your turn:

What are your hot buttons? How can you adapt your approach so that you are sharing your faith in the best possible way?

Copyright © 2012, Alicia Hart

image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Alicia Hart

Alicia Hart

Alicia Hart is the crafty Catholic multicultural mom of three boys. She became Catholic in 2007 after a life of longing for the faith. To see her crafty ideas and reviews written from a Catholic viewpoint, visit her at her blog, Through My “I”s. Her Catholic crafts can also be found on the first Monday of every month at CatholicMom.com. Alicia can be contacted for questions and comments at [email protected]

4 responses to “A 4-Way Approach to Sharing Your Faith”

  1. I don’t know about “hot buttons”. I’m over 60 and really past a lot of that. With that said, I know what impresses people is when they see (hear) a genuine love, enthusiasm or reverence coming from another person.
    …see how those Christians love one another. I think that if you always have at the ready what you really love about the Church that you can communicate is a positive. Another thing is your discernment…….sometimes people just don’t want to listen about the virtues of the Church. If that happens be ready to pray for them on the spot, in your head while standing there. Invite any future questions they might have and invite them to Mass next time you have a chance. If they refuse, invite them again another time………..Jesus never stops seeking us!

  2. Alicia Hart says:

    That is very true, Kathryn. When we show our love through our actions, many people can see the beauty of the Catholic church. As a matter of fact, that is how I found the Church!

  3. Nancy Ward says:

    Remember that scripture that promises us that when we need to speak the truth about God, he will put the words in our mouth? This is very comforting and helps us realized if our words are accepted, He is accepted. If our words are rejected, He is the one who is rejected and He will take up for us and always protect us.

  4. Alicia Hart says:

    Nancy, what a wonderful reminder! We can take comfort in knowing that He will protect us.

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