Good morning, friends,
Do you ever feel uncomfortable talking about the faith? Well, I’ve got a ten-step process that will surely fix… NOPE. Sorry for the disappointment. I’m just as lost as anyone, believe me.
Recently, I have found myself coming to a certain realization. In an instant, we can define how others think of us. Whether they perceive us as friendly, or rude, outgoing, or shy, and the list goes on. And somewhere on that “First Impression” list is the “Religious or Not” bubble.
Just think about it. Not using provocative/foul language, not using God’s name in vein, and treating people kindly are all Christian characteristics, generally speaking. We might not even think of them that way, but others probably notice a difference. BUT if we ever wanted to change their perception of us, all it takes is a second and a word, or two.
I have thought about this often at my work, as I watch the words I use and try really hard to treat every customer with the same dose of kindness and joy (I’m not saying it is easy, and I’m not saying I’m ‘on’ all the time, because I’m not, but I try). And let me tell you, somedays are way harder than others!! Like yesterday!
I’m 90% sure none of the people I work with go to church or practice any sort of faith. It can feel isolating, even lonely, being the one who doesn’t talk about this, that, and the other thing (fill in the blank with whatever you please)!! When that one topic comes up, well, I pretend I’m invisible. Go behind the counter and pretend I’m working on something super important! But you know I’m just trying not to be pulled into the conversation!!
The truth is, I hate confrontation. Hate it! No number of books saying its “a healthy part of every conversation” will change that!! I just don’t like that uncomfortable feeling of disagreement or judgement. No matter what side it seems to be coming from!! You feel??
However, as Christians, we are called to whole heartedly spread the gospel. This started way back at the Great Commission, in Mark 16. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation”. When I read that verse recently, it kind of made me squirm in my seat.
But what if they disagree?
But what if they think I’m weird or a “Jesus Freak”?
What if I hurt their feelings or make them feel judged?
What if… What if… What if…
But there’s a bit of good news for all you fellow massive introverts!! Evangelization also comes with a “user’s discretion” warning. Okay let’s break it down a bit.
Not all evangelization is created equal. Sometimes all you have to do is smile, let the joy of Christ shine through you, and pretend you’re working on something more important than gossip or bedroom talk! Yes, we can pretend.
Yes, there will be situations when a subtle word or phrase would be a good idea. Yes, we can shape conversations without being to harsh.
No, Christ doesn’t expect us to break down Catholic teaching for every person we meet. No, he doesn’t expect you to explain why gay marriage is wrong to someone you met yesterday! Sometimes all it takes is being an example in the little things.
And who knows, maybe that one coworker will be the one asking you questions someday?? Who knows, right?
Have a great day!!