I never intended to take a month long break from blogging, but I’m coming back today feeling refreshed with a lot to say. Before my break, I had planned out the entire month of December for my blog, with titles and content ideas. I’m scrapping all of that and today I’m just going to speak from my heart. Something happened today and my mind has been wrapped around this for hours; I just need a space to vent and sort through my thoughts.
For the last month-and-a-half or so, I have had the… opportunity… of having a Jehovah’s witness at my doorstep. I’m sure most of us would roll our eyes, maybe not answer the door, or shoo them away as fast as we can. Listen… I do not like confrontation! Either that, or I’m too nice. So I politely listened to what the woman had to say, answered a few questions, and she went on her way.
That wasn’t so bad, I thought! Until she came back again, then again, and again, and AGAIN. Each time was building from the conversation we had the week prior. There was always an older woman with her, she would observe and oversee the younger woman as she talked to me. I have been praying about it each time they come to my door, but recently my mind has been consumed with the teachings of this false religion. I am internally battling between being firm with them that I am not interested, or taking this as an opportunity to minister and share my faith.
I have never shared my testimony on this platform, but it’s a simple one. I grew up in the church, aligned myself with believing friends, and I didn’t bring up religion or faith in any social contexts. I grew up going to public school, so I never had any formal education regarding theology or even knowledge about other religions. My background made me feel inadequate and ill-prepared when put in a situation where the other party was trained to debate the subjects that I base my faith in.
Growing up in a christian environment, I never really experienced any trials that tested the core of my faith. I didn’t question what I learned in church, I mostly just took it for face value. Being faced with an opposing religion so strongly and so personally sparked a fire in me for asking questions. First Thessalonians says to “test everything, and hold fast to what is good” (5:21). I am hungry for more answers, am hungry for assurance and peace from God that who I put my identity in is true. I need to cling to the Rock, but that doesn’t come easy or without bumps in the road.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him..” -James 1: 2-5
I remember memorizing this scripture in High School as I encountered some ‘trial’ at the time (albeit small trial in comparison to completely questioning the entirety of my faith). My first reaction to Jehovah’s Witnesses entering my life was one of annoyance, fear, and inadequacy. I definitely did not consider it a blessing, or joyful, or even… dare I say… privilege? The presence of the JW in my life does nothing to benefit their cause, it only strengthens and re-affirms my faith by stoking the fire in my heart of my love for God. I desire to learn more about Him, and I feel an increasing need to share that love, to urgently share the truth that I have rediscovered for myself.
Now, all of this re-energized passion for Christ is great, but I still have the dilemma of interacting with the JW. We just fundamentally don’t see eye to eye… how can I change that? I think the thing is, that I can’t. Try as I might, only the Holy Spirit can remove the veil of spiritual blindness. Even so, I still get nervous about the little things. I don’t have nearly as many verses in my debating arsenal as they do, how can I ever have a conversation? What do I say?
“But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
I guess that’s all the thoughts I have at the moment. I can imagine engaging with Jehovah’s Witnesses is a hot topic among conservative Christians. I would really love to open a dialogue if anyone else has had a similar experience. If you have a book to read, or a passage to study, or something to say, I am all ears right now! My last thought on this situation echoes a passage in 1 Peter. I’ll leave you with this:
“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” -1 Peter 3: 13-16