STRIVE…to Test the Truth

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 The release of Tim Hiller’s new book STRIVE is 3 DAYS AWAY – October 1! To get ready for the Strive release, we’re introducing “The Strive Challenge” – 6 weeks with 1 purpose – to help readers pursue what matters most in their lives. Join in at:

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Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Proverbs 30:5

A couple months ago I invited two coaches from a local high school to attend a Quarterback Academy we held at Next Level Performance. One coach came. The other didn’t.

During a break I was talking to the coach that attended and answering some of his questions around drills and technique. As the conversation shifted from football to life, family, and friends the coach mentioned his missing colleague. From the sounds of it, he had some concerns about the Academy.

“I asked him again to come,” the coach explained, “and I told him about your mission at Next Level to build leadership and character in athletes. But he told me, ‘It smells Christian.’”

As I smiled at the absent coaches’ comment, he went on to explain how he’d been trying to reach his fellow coach and share his faith in Jesus with him on multiple occasions—from direct discussions, to inviting him to church, to giving him his own bible—but he hadn’t seen progress just yet. As our dialogue continued, we discussed a new approach to helping a skeptical person consider giving faith a chance.

We ended up calling it “Testing the Truth.”

For someone who is skeptical, much like this coaches’ colleague, arguing about who is right is seldom the answer. The proof is in the pudding. It’s about faith becoming real in an individual’s life through them personally experiencing Jesus. Testing the Truth is about giving God an honest shot and seeing what happens.

It works like this:

  • Ask a friend to give Testing the Truth an open-minded chance. Assure your friend you aren’t out to change his or her current persuasion about Jesus or the Bible—just to explore together.
  • Read Matthew chapters 5-7  together. If you’re geographically separated, read separately but touch base for accountability—so you both know you completed the reading. It probably won’t take longer than 20-30 minutes.
  • Together, to the best of your abilities, try to live by the guidelines you both read. Some examples you might notice could be:
  • At the end of the five days, have a follow up meeting or call with your friend to discuss how the week went. Ask your friend to honestly answer the following question:

“What could my life look like if I lived this way?”

Testing the Truth typically yields one of two reactions:

Surprise – “My life could be better for me and those around me by living this way!”

Sorrow – “I fell short of the mark and didn’t fulfill the things I read.”

The first is an opportunity to study God’s word further to help your friend see Jesus’ entire life and ministry and to get to know Him personally. The second is an opportunity to discuss what it means to sin and fall short, and how Jesus overcame our shortcomings by dying and rising again so we need not feel the weight of this sorrow any more. But either reaction is an open door opportunity. An opportunity for you to share your faith, and an opportunity for your friend to experience firsthand that “every word of God is flawless.” Our Lord is real, he is faithful, and he is the truth that can withstand any test!

CLICK HERE to download and complete today’s Strive Challenge Tracker!

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