We live in a brave new world, one that ignores more than opposes God. He’s rarely part of the landscape, not a normal topic of discussion. In an industry that once frequently alluded to him (East of Eden, the novel by Steinbeck and the movie for just one example), few movies refer to God at all. And, rather than rail against the lack, maybe we can graciously insert a God awareness into our culture.
Last week’s post explored how our harsh language can damage others and turn people off to God, so let’s flip the coin to see how we might build a positive view of him in our society. No street preaching of “Turn or Burn.” No need for a degree in defending the gospel. No memorized testimonies that may not relate to our listeners.
While these, or parts of these and other methods may work, let’s be subtle to start the process. Some tips that alone won’t transform the world. But they can contribute to building more awareness of God, to bringing God into more conversations.
Basically, think of how you, in your world, can graciously mention God more often. Briefly. Nicely. Here’s a few things I do.
I end a lot of emails and PMs and other messages with either “In Him,” or “God Bless.”
When people ask how I am, I often respond, “Better than I deserve!” They typically disagree, saying I deserve the best. I gently reply, “If I got what I deserve, I’d be in trouble. I need God’s grace.”
When people ask about my weekend plans or how it went, I typically say something about church. At Christmas, I use “Merry Christmas” instead of the generic “Happy Holidays.”
Those are semi-canned, I get that. Mostly, I just mention him when it’s relevant to the conversation. Sometimes just a word or two, sometimes a few sentences. And unless the other indicates a desire to go down that road, I move on.
The more frequently we mention God positively, the more people think of God’s role in life. The more they think of him. And I’ve been surprised at some of the deep spiritual conversations sparked by simple beginnings like this. Obviously, not all do, but more do than if we said nothing about the God we love.
I have no illusions that this will instantly transform the world. But inch by inch, life’s a cinch. A cliché, I know, but true.
Kick Starting the Application
Do you intentionally try to work a mention of God into conversations? How often does that occur? Have you had instances were a brief mention led to a healthy and deeper discussion? Can you think of a couple of standard comments you might make? Will you resolve to bring a greater awareness of God to our world?