A couple of months ago, I listened to a talk by Michael Frost, a missiologist, about the verse Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Typically we think of this verse in the context of gaining biblical knowledge so that a Christian could respond intelligently to someone who does not share their beliefs. But he pointed out a hidden assumption in this verse; this may sound very basic, but in order to give a response to someone, you must first be asked a question. Which leads to the question, “what would cause a person to ask a Christian a question”?
Sometimes a question would be asked on the basis of someone knowing you are a Christian and wanting to learn more about the faith. But let’s be honest, how often do you have people knocking down your door asking to hear about this Jesus guy? Not that often in Seattle, WA in my experience. This leaves us with the question, “Is there anything in the way I live, the way I speak, or the priorities in my life that would evoke curiosity from people”? Challenging question.
This may sound harsh, but attending a church service on Sunday morning for 2 hours, not swearing and putting your kids in private Christian school, does not evoke anyone’s curiosity. I’m not saying these things are bad at all; in fact I think they are very good things. It’s just that they don’t grab anyone’s attention. They don’t make someone think about their life and what they are living for. They don’t stand out against a post-Christian, post-church culture which no longer shares Christian values. The culture is tired of seeing Christians think that by attending a Sunday service, trying to be moral and avoiding “R” rated movies, that they’ll be convinced of God’s existence, his love for them and their need for a Savior. So if that will not convince them, what will?
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attend the corporate gathering of the church, use our words to glorify God, and be wise with what our eyes see and ears hear, we certainly should. It’s just that living like this, and being satisfied, is not going to turn anyone’s head.
I’m not saying that to evoke curiosity we should all dye our hair blue, drive a John Deere tractor to work on the freeway, or tattoo our tongues. That’s ridiculous and would be done just to look weird. That’s not the point; the point isn’t to look different for different sake. The point is that according to Paul, living for Christ, and how that works itself out in our lives, should raise questions from those in the culture. It should look, talk and act different than the culture and leave them no option but to ask why someone would ever do this, say that, or treat someone that way. The culture may not agree with it, but it confronts them to look at their lives and wonder if there is something true, something beautiful, something eternal, which they don’t currently possess.
Would you say you’re living a life that evokes curiosity? How does the church do this without being “weird”? Is there a formula? I welcome your thoughts and feedback.