Have you ever had knowledge of a particular subject matter but when it came to explaining it to someone else, you found you couldn’t?
I am an avid reader and when an author pens something beautifully, I want to share their words with others. Often times, I try to retell what I have just read to my husband and usually am heard making the statement,“My words just can’t do it justice. Just go read the book.”
For those who don’t know this, I earned a Bachelors in Criminology and Forensics and a Masters in Administration of Justice. After college, I was one of the few who was hired on by their state’s crime lab. Even after years of school, I was still required to go through a two-year training program in my area of discipline.
I was a Fingerprint Analyst….very CSI.
And for two years, along side two other brilliant and eager analyst, we trained. I wrote more papers and read more books in those two years of training as I ever did in college. I thought I knew the ends and outs of my area of discipline. Matter of fact, I was sure of it.
At the end of our training, each analyst had to go before a board of analyst and defend their discipline. And if that wasn’t horrible enough, we then went before our peers in a mock trial where we were drilled on a mock case in which we worked independently start to finish.
It didn’t matter how much training we had or how many books we read. No, none of that matter if we could not explain it to our peers and to the Section Chiefs of the Lab. And when we first begin preparing for this monumental benchmark in training, I learned quickly I could not explain any of it to my Supervisor.
I remember the first day he called me in and asked me to explain why no two fingerprints were alike. I knew it. I could see the words on the pages I had read for hours at a time at my desk. I knew it but had no idea how to articulate what I knew.
Before long, I sat at the table, my Supervisor staring at me, and began sobbing.
I’m thankful for that particular moment because it taught me a valuable lesson about knowing something and talking about that something.
And this is where I find many parents and children alike in their reasoning for their faith (1 Peter 3:15-16). If they are lucky, they have thought out the whys of their faith, but sadly I don’t think that is even the case in many situations.
Many of us have never went beyond just reading the words in Scripture let alone actually thinking their faith out. And there are some who know why they believe what they believer yet cannot articulate it.
I’ll be as gentle as I can……
A faith you cannot articulate is useless to those lost.
Please don’t read into what I am saying. I am not saying you are not a Christian if you cannot fully explain the intimacy of your faith. However, if we are to go and make disciples, how can we make them if we can’t explain it to them?
I am not talking about regurgitating a bunch of religious wording. I am talking about being intentional in what we say and how we say it.
Have you ever sat down and asked your children, Why is the resurrection of Jesus important? What does the bible say about [this] etc? What is sin?
Have you ever thought it out yourself?
These questions aren’t meant to trick people. They aren’t meant to make you feel bad if you cannot explain it, but it should motivate you, as a believer, to think it out and practice how you might respond.
Scripture is clear on this mandate.
Always be prepared to give everyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that you have……
So can you give everyone who asks you for a reason an answer or will you find yourself tongue tied?
Here’s a few ideas to start practicing with your family:
- Have everyone share their testimony. (But be prepared to not just explain the how but the why. Here’s a post to read).
- Have a time once a week for a round table discussion. Pick a topic and discuss it out loud. (Why Jesus? is a great place to start).
As you grow confident in what you know and how to talk about it, pray for chances to begin talking it out with others. Practice makes perfect.