Monday, June 21, 2010

Defending Versus Defensive

I know YOU aren't guilty of this, but I certainly have been. Where my Christian beliefs are concerned, I have the propensity for defensiveness when someone attacks, or even argues against the truth of God's word.

Defensiveness does little good beyond ensuring a bloody battle. It's born in a stew of fear & conflicting emotions, not the least of which just MIGHT BE the need to be right at any cost. One can hardly deem that righteous. (Remember, it's me that's guilty here ...)

But what of Paul's admonition to us, the one in which he encourages us to be ready, to be "set for the defense of the gospel"? (Philippians 1:17)

As I read today's e-devotional from Days of Praise, that same question confronted me. I read this ...

Many Christians today decry the use of apologetics or evidences in Christian witnessing, feeling it is somehow dishonoring to the Lord or to the Scriptures to try to defend them. But as our text (Philippians 1:17) indicates, the apostle Paul did not agree with this. The gospel does need defending, and he was set for its defense against the attacks of its adversaries. He also told his disciples that "in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partakers of my grace" (Philippians 1:7)

Is it possible to be ever-ready with reason & grace in positioning and defending the gospel?

Apparently so.

I can be sure it doesn't include defensiveness, but the gentle & quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4) of the woman warrior.


~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

O' I so love this post....

I'm one of God's women warriors.

On several occasions God used me in defense of HIM. People just were astounded at the outpouring of the Spirit from me.

One such situation was at a family gathering. My sister's boyfriend who was an unbeliever started to attack me for my faith. God set that young man straight via me. My family was amazed at how that went. My sister told me that I had courage and that she could never do that... it's because she's weak in her faith! God can use "anyone" for His purpose!

And, yes, it's possible to be ever-ready with reason & grace in positioning and defending the gospel.

Blessings to you and your family Kathleen.

Winging It said...

Oh, gracious! Beautifully said and so very much my desire! Seasoned with grace indeed. BIG difference between defending and being defensive! 4 little letters, and a world of difference!

Debbie said...

We should always be ready to share with others why we are different. I guess that means they will recognize something different in us; including not getting all defensive, right? :)

I try to walk my talk more than talk my talk. However, when there are definite divine appointments and the Holy Spirit is nudging me, you bet I'll talk.

I'm praying for you Kathleen. And yes, I do want to get together in July.

Love you,

Just a little something from Judy said...

The more I learn of God's Word, the more I realize that grace and loved shared doctrines are crucial to growth. I have seen it the other way too, when I have observed an all out argument, and that does nothing to promote growth. Defending the Gospel with grace is powerful.

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I have to be careful I don't cross the line. Defending faith can be done with grace and gentleness without steamrolling the other person.

Heart2Heart said...


Joyce Meyers' touched on this very subject yesterday and why sometimes this can get so frustrating to us believers.

Great post and love your new look.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Diana said...

Hey, love the new look. Enjoyed the post, too. Thank you for your prayers!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

Ooo, love the new picture of Baby Kole!

I'd defend my family or my friends. Why not defend my Heavenly Father?

Many people spout the lies they've heard about God. They need to hear the truth. Perhaps it will cause them to investigate for themselves.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Kole is adorable! He looks so sweet:)

Good post, and good to define the differences between the two. Perhaps that can help us measure our words and reactions more carefully. Thanks for sharing.

Loren said...

I know I have done both spoken up or been silent but as time has gone on I have come to pray and seek what the Lord desires for me to do in different situations and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me instead of me messing up in the name of Christ. HE has been sooo patient with me and when I have messed up it seems HE has allowed me to amend some of those situations just recently! Praise HIM!

Love you Kathleen and love being a warrior with you!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yes and always provide nuggets for me to chew on for days. Many of your post are my husband and my conversations on our morning walks...thanks for sharing your wisdom...I am so blessed by your wisdom,

LisaShaw said...

I don't need to say any more than AMEN!! "Ready with reason and grace" is absolutely true!

Love you!