How is this done? (Cont.)
- Have conversations that matter — It takes a bit of courage, but at certain times God calls us to turn a casual conversation into a transformative one (Romans 12:2)“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”. It may be talking to a family member about their spiritual walk, or helping a fellow Christian overcome a weakness. It can be brief or lengthy, but (approached in humility and love) is well worth it.
- Don’t go along with bad behavior — Really?! Christians mess up? Yep—and on a regular basis. When we hear or see such things, we can make a difference. Depending on the situation, “not going along” could mean just being silent, redirecting the conversation, or maybe something more direct (2 Peter 3:17)“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”. In all situations, careful listening and maximum tact are in order. If we hear hurtful gossip about someone, we not only have the responsibility not to break the Eighth Commandment by “Bearing false witness,” but also, as Luther explained this commandment, we should “defend [our neighbor], speak well of him and explain everything in the kindest way.” You’d want people to do the same for you.