Friday, July 21, 2006

You don't have to sell Jesus

[InterVarsity] 21 Jul 2006--In subtle ways, I’ve picked up the wrong image of an effective evangelist. I’ve listened to the witty lines and slick responses of some well-known evangelists and tried to come up with my own versions. My assumption has been that Joe Unbeliever has no desire or interest in spiritual things (much less in Jesus), and it is my job to give him that interest; either by pointing out the unhappiness in his life (“You’ve got to be unhappy about something!”) or suggesting that we Christians have something that he doesn’t (peace that passes all understanding, joy beyond description, love that gushes and overflows). Of course, I’m not a total doofus—I know that pointing out Joe Unbeliever’s weaknesses, failures and dissatisfaction with life would make me seem arrogant and presumptuous. Besides, I’ve always felt dishonest about claiming to have never-ending peace, joy and love when my everyday experience is, um, different. So what am I supposed to do? I’ve been stifled by this dilemma.

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