Throughout your life, there will be occasions where you will need to be able to scientifically explain why you believe what you believe about creation. Most of the time, though, the strongest defense for your faith is the way you treat other people.
In some cases, that means being aware of what we’re doing: gossiping, complaining, doubting God’s sovereignty, not guarding our hearts well…
But, I think it just as much means being aware of what we’re not doing: telling someone we’re praying for them when we don’t, not checking in on someone walking through grief a few months after the fact, not making time to meet with the friend who needs a listening ear, telling ourselves we’re too busy to get involved with that ministry…
So often it is easy to make Christian apologetics an intellectual ordeal, when in fact, all things pertaining to Christ are matters of the heart.
For most of us in ministry or married to those in ministry, you know that the sacred “right of passage” is attaining the highly exalted “M-Div”, or Masters in Divinity Degree. And as I’ve floated around from one ministry circle to another, I can’t help but realize that sometimes we have a lot of educated people who are often so caught up in what they have stored in their head, the only thing coming out of their heart is words from a textbook.
The truth is, no one cares about your view of the end times when they don’t feel seen by you in the present.
As ministry wives and leaders, it is easy to get caught up in comparison, feel less than, or like we’re not as qualified as we could be.
I’m not saying that going to school for ministry is bad. My undergrad is in Religion with a focus in Christian Ministry and the things I gained from my time studying impact me almost every day. It changed me for the better.
However, I will challenge you with this: Name one New Testament disciple who laid the foundation of the New Testament church that had a degree.
These were educated men, but what set them apart was their study of Jesus.
Sound doctrine is non-negotiable. Knowing the Scriptures is non-negotiable. But the reason these things are of value is because they are a reflection of how we truly view and adore Jesus.
If you can defend the Christian faith but you’re not loving people well, why would people want to meet the Jesus whose image you’re trying to protect?
Jesus doesn’t need our protection. He desires our willingness to die.
To die to ourselves, to our flesh, to our wills, ways, plans, and desires. To say “Yes” to being inconvenienced. And most of all, to love those who are really hard to love.
As a pastor’s wife or as a ministry leader, people will have all sorts of opinions about you – perhaps even about how “qualified” you are. And the most likely chance is, they’ll tell other people instead of telling you.
But when our goal is for everyone to like us or be impressed by us, we will always miss the mark.
The goal should be loving people like Jesus.