3 Ways to Talk to Hurting People4 min read
Gentle theology is not postmodern Christianity
Recently, a woman stepped forward in a group of people and shaking a speaker’s hand, she asked, “Do you think that babies go to be with Jesus when they die?” The speaker was undecided and didn’t have a clear answer, but someone else quickly shot back, “There’s no Biblical evidence that children go to be with Jesus, I’ve just never seen any mention of it!” I recognized the look of hurt, because she wasn’t asking a theological question, she had obviously lost a baby recently– something my wife and I know a lot about.
The person in the crowd was quick to level a theologically opinionated response to an emotionally raw question– one that some of the greatest theologians wrestled with. Spurgeon said God casting away an infant is “inconsistent utterly with the known character of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Westminster Confession of Faith affirms in Chapter 10:3 that the Holy Spirit works when, where, and how He pleases, to save elect infants. I digress, but the lack of grace towards hurting people is what we need to be on guard against.
So many people come to the table broken and Christ meets them with open arms, willing to share in their sorrows. For the proud who criticize Jesus for being at that table, Jesus uses the Law to crush their pride and invite them to repentance. But for the broken, He brings grace.
I try to keep these things in mind when talking with people:
1). Are they hurting? What’s prompting this conversation?
2). How can I show this person that Christ loves them through my actions and words?
3). At the end of the day, am I maintaining a relationship that I can continue to develop, or am I cutting this person off?
Dad, entrepreneur, writer, and creative.
Founder of Gentle Theology.