I noticed with interest a new poll on spirituality in Britain:
Here’s one slide that is very interesting:
A very substantial percentage of people would be comfortable talking with a friend who knows them well about their faith. 56% in person, 47% online. And a significant percentage would be open to being prayed for, receiving a gift of something to watch or read, or invited to church or a youth event. Obviously, there are also significant percentages who would be uncomfortable or don’t know.
This leads me to think that one of the most important questions we can ask a friend is for permission. For instance:
- “Would it be okay if I shared with you something about my faith?”
- “Would it be okay if I told you about an event coming up at my church?”
- “Would you feel comfortable if I prayed for what you just shared with me?”
Etc… Since we don’t know how they will feel, simply asking for permission can show respect for their point of view. If they give permission, then we know it is safe to proceed. If they say, no, not right now, we avoid blundering into something that could break trust.