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Always Be Prepared

Dropping the Ball

In college I was one of less than 10 Christians on our university’s football team.  It was obvious we were unlike most of our teammates.  As a result, my non-Christian teammates would often ask questions or make comments about my lifestyle choices and convictions.

When my teammates first started asking me questions like, “why don’t you get drunk, mess with girls or make sexual gestures towards girls on campus?” I would always seem to drop the ball.  I’d offer a studdered response that always seemed to be a half-hearted and somewhat false reply, but I could never seem to put the right words together to explain to them that the reason was because of the work of Jesus in my life.

Learning to Prepare

After months of frustration the Lord finally prompted me to do something.  It was no longer acceptable to stammer like an idiot when presented with an opportunity to point someone to Jesus.  In the midst of my personal frustration the Lord led me to 1 Peter 3:15 which says, “In your heart set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that you have, but do so with gentleness and respect.”

The reason I always seemed to drop the ball when responding to the questions and comments of my non-Christian teammates was that I was simply not prepared to respond.  At that moment I decided to prepare myself to answer my teammates most common questions by identifying what questions and comments I received most, then crafting responses to those statements beforehand.  After prayerfully considering how the Lord would have me respond, I memorized those responses so that I could automatically share them without being caught off guard.  Here is a list of a few:

1. Statement: “You’re a good person” or “you’re a nice guy.”  Response: “I appreciate you considering me a nice guy/good person, but the only thing good you see in me is because of the work of Jesus in my life.”

2. Question: “Why don’t you get drunk and party like the rest of us?” Response: “I don’t get drunk because I’m satisfied in Jesus.  No amount of alcohol can compare with knowing Jesus.”

3. Question: “Doesn’t it bother you that you’re often left out or unaccepted by some of your teammates?” Response: “It bothers me some, but knowing that God has chosen to accept me unconditionally in Christ is far more important than being conditionally accepted by other people.”

4. Question: “Why don’t you mess with any girls on campus.” Response: “God has chosen sex to be a gift for a marriage between a man and a woman.  By the grace of God and the work of Jesus in my life, I don’t want to cheat my future wife out of that gift by abusing it beforehand.”

5. Statement: “Look at the girl over there.  She has nice _______.” Response: “I’d prefer not to.  God created her with the same value and dignity that he made you and I.  We should honor her like a sister, not treat her like a prostitute.”

6. Statement: “You’re a pretty religious guy.” Response: “I hope not.  My confidence is in the work of Jesus to bring me to God, not in my own empty religious work.”

7. Question: “How did you get to be so religious.” Response: “I didn’t choose to be religious.  God chose to bring me to faith in Jesus Christ.  The difference is religion is about what you attempt to do for God, God is about what he has done for you in Christ.”

8. Question: “What if you’re wrong about Jesus?” Response: “If I’m wrong about Jesus, the consequence is a life well-lived.  If you’re wrong about Jesus, the consequence is eternity apart from God. Which would you rather be wrong about?”

Now, I understand that these responses are somewhat mehanical.  They’re meant to be.  The responses that I’ve listed are intended to be a generic guideline to help you form your own answers according to your personality and style.  The big idea is to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone about what Jesus has done in your life.  This list is simply intended to give you an idea of what that looks like.  It’s by no means comprehensive, so use it as a template, not a rule.  Prayerfully consider how God would have you respond and prepare in the way that is going to allow you to best honor Jesus.

Question: What are the most common questions you get asked as a Christian? How can you be prepared to answer those questions in a way that honors Jesus?

  1. June 6, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Good responses… I’d also say a great tip is to respond with a question to get the other person to think more.

    • June 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      Excellent point! I wholeheartedly agree. It seems best to respond with a clear biblical truth followed by a personal question to encourage dialogue. That way you can continue the process of encouraging them to Jesus.

  2. January 3, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    This is excellent! I enjoy Apologetics as much as I do nutritional counseling and physiology. I believe this post is a “keeper” – it’s so practical. Well done and I believe you have found another follower! Blessings,

    • January 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Thanks! I’m glad it was helpful for you. I’ve always believed that the best apologetic is a well lived life followed by an honest answer.

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