I sat next to an LDS girl in an “American Religious Traditions” class every day during a semester at Mesa Community College. I set out to convince her that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Frankly speaking, it’s kind of an easy thing to prove…  After talking about it EVERY DAY for an entire semester I was sure that I had showed her the way, the truth, the life, all that. How did she respond on the last day of class?

“I want to thank you Ryan, because our conversations have actually strengthened my faith.”


About five years ago I talked to a student in my ministry about singing in such a way that she wasn’t a distraction to the other students. She had a huge heart, but her zeal for worship had created a tension in the room. She seemed to agree with what I was saying, but she never came around much after that. Today I received an email from her thanking me for that conversation. It led her to embrace paganism.


Not as I had planned.

Have YOU ever backfired, or am I the only idiot left on the planet?

4 thoughts on “backfired”

  1. This past week, on Monday actually, I discovered my friend was bisexual. She apparently was her entire life, and I had known her for a year, she just never dated a woman while I was in Alabama.

    She was a great follower of Christ it always seemed, but then she enters this relationship with a non-Christian homosexual. I asked her why she embraces that other side of her, that lifestyle. She said it wasn’t a choice. She said she asks God everyday why she was born the way she was, and she believe that He had a reason.

    It was a complicated conversation. I asked her if she believed if God was bigger than her struggle. I did everything I could to explain that, and more.

    She never replied. Not long after, her non-Christian girlfriend contacted me the very same night an hour later and engaged in a very controversial conversation, and everything backfired. She won’t talk to me or anything, and I feel like she chose her old lifestyle over the one God has to offer.

    There’s so much that could have been said, that I wanted to say, but it’s superfluous if she is unwilling to open up to it. I left her an e-mail, offering myself as an ear and a friend if she ever needed it.

    Now I’m just praying that God keeps His hand over her, and that she comes around to understand that what she is struggling with, is not who she is (/what defines her life).

    But my words intended for encouragement majorly backfired, so far at least. I felt like the worst person in the universe after that evening. I still feel terrible.

  2. Oh jeez. It’s happened to me more times than I care to admit. I had a falling-out with an Atheist friend awhile back because our “conversation” escalated to the point of me getting upset and resorting to name-calling. Lame, I know.

    Talking about Jesus has always been a weird subject for me. Like, there’s this fine line between proclaiming the gospel and being a pushy Christian and I have a really hard time seeing where that is.

  3. Way too many times than I care to count. But just so YOU know- I have two very specific examples from my 15 year old son (who was 13 at the time) of how your love for God’s people and love for Jesus impacted his faith…and helped him to decide to trust God even when it’s tough. 🙂

    So…”A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.” Proverbs 17:10
    I hope that doesn’t sound harsh but reminds you how much God is using you, bro. His words might fall on deaf ears sometimes, but keep speaking them. Because He will do the work, right?
    God be with you!

  4. Vy I know the feeling!

    Thank you Renee 🙂 This story definitely doesn’t reflect the majority of my experience. I know that God will even redeem my “backfired” moments.

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