What Would You Say?

In every aspect of our lives, we interact with others. It may be family or coworkers, or just a few friends we know from down the street. Our interactions with these differ only in the subjects we discuss. How often do your conversations turn to Christ?

In those days, Peter went down to the men sent by Cornelius to him and said, “I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?” And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well-spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to hear what you have to say.” So he called them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went off with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his kinsmen and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered; and he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.” And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house; and behold, a man stood before me in bright apparel, saying, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the seaside.’ So I sent to you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

Acts 10.21-33

When Saint Peter was invited by Cornelius, he didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation. As soon as they met, the conversation was about God. They didn’t waste time discussing the weather or politics. Cornelius wanted to hear all that God had commanded Peter to say. They connected.

Our daily connections are the building blocks of every relationship. ‘Water cooler’ topics range from politics to our favorite TV programs. These topics are surface topics and don’t lead us to genuine relationships. Only when our hearts connect is our relationship genuine, even at work.

Have you ever found yourself saying about someone at work, “I never knew that about him.” Your relationship wasn’t genuine. Talking about work spreadsheets and marketing plans is not a relationship. It is a business meeting.

I’m not suggesting that every conversation must only be about God. That would not be practical, especially in a secular ‘post-Christian’ society. I am suggesting that if our coworkers and neighbors do not know how we feel about Christ, then we have work to do.

When Saint Peter opened about Christ, the Holy Spirit was able to work. When we are open about our faith, we give the Holy Spirit a chance to work in our relationships. We have one additional benefit that Peter did not have. We are mostly free to talk about God.

It can feel strange at first, talking about God. Our society has trained us to keep our faith to ourselves. Start small and don’t think your job is to convert the world. Your job is to open the door and allow the Holy Spirit to do what the Holy Spirit does best.

Here’s a suggestion to get comfortable talking about God. When you are asked how you are doing, instead of saying ‘ok’ try, “Thank God. Things are ok.” Just the simple acknowledgement of God opens the door. If the door opens to more ‘God topics’ great. If not that’s ok too.

The key isn’t to make every interaction a conversion experience. The goal is to make every interaction an open door for the Holy Spirit. Some doors get shut in your face. Some doors are held open like Cornelius.

If the door remains open, then be prepared to share a little more. “What do you mean, ‘Thank God.’ Is something wrong?” Many times, our invoking God will be misinterpreted as a ‘cry for help’ in a crisis. If we are asked, be ready to share why you are thankful to God.

God is the source of everything good in our lives. Being thankful to God is an attitude rather than a feeling. We might say, “We all know things could always be worse, so we are thankful that God has not allowed them to be worse.”

It won’t really matter in the short term what we talk about, so long as we open the door for the Holy Spirit. You may be surprised at how the Holy Spirit works in your heart at the same time. You may find that God strengthens your faith while planting the seed in someone else.

Please use the comment section below to share an experience you may have had when you were willing to ‘open the door’ for the Holy Spirit. What would you say?


  1. Seraphim on May 28, 2024 at 8:32 am

    In one of my previous jobs, I worked in a bustling downtown area with a very public space. I kept an icon of the Theotokos at my workstation and always gave glory to God whenever someone complimented my art. For example, I would say, “Thank you, Glory to God.” This habit led me to take several customers and one coworker to church with me on various occasions. I also engaged in numerous conversations with customers about our Lord every day as they picked up their daily coffee.

    Many of these conversations were with Orthodox Christians, as the town had a significant Orthodox population. Some were with Protestant customers, including a few pastors, with whom I shared the joys and fullness of the Orthodox faith in a non-confrontational way. On my days off, I would visit the same place for my own Bible reading, and these customers would often join me. We would discuss our lives in Christ and how the Spirit has guided us.

    I miss this job deeply, but I am profoundly thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to work there as a zealous new inquirer.

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