the friends and family plan

1

Category : God, bible, shame, sharing faith

                  

There are many things I struggle with in my faith.  And there are many things I do that I regret.  (Not the least of which is eating too many Brownie Obsessions.)  But one area that really bothers me is sharing my faith with friends and family.  Or to be more precise, the lack of it.

I don’t have any problems getting into a conversation about God with a stranger.  In fact I seem to do that all the time.  Strangers are easy to talk to.  I don’t have to worry about looking like an idiot or damaging a relationship because after we part company I’ll never see them again. 

But friends are different.

Christians don’t enjoy the most positive of images at the moment.  Nothing drives this home like the book unChristian, by the Barna Group.  Their research shows that nonbelievers view Christians the same as they view Mormon evangelicals.  You know, the kind that show up at your door when you’re about to go eat a Brownie Obsession.  Not that this ever happens to me…

So what do we do?  Didn’t Jesus tell us it was important to talk to people about him?  The problem is our friends might not be interested in hearing about God.  Maybe they don’t care, maybe they disagree, or maybe they have their own issues around God.  Or maybe they just are looking to relax and have fun. 

Even our best efforts to be sincere and open may come across as judgmental and trying to “convert” them.

It seems a tough place to be.

And for me it is.  The people I should care about most are the people I’m most hesitant to talk to.  It’s as if I have this great secret, but I’m afraid of sharing it.  Not because I think they’ll laugh at me (although I suppose they might) but because I’m more afraid of pushing them away from God.  I’m afraid of them rejecting the most important thing in my life, because I was clumsy and awkward. 

So for me, I think the first place I start is this – I’m sorry if my attempts to tell you about what Jesus has done in my life come across as awkward.  I’m sorry if it feels weird for you.  It feels weird to me too.  But I wouldn’t be talking about him if I didn’t think he was amazing.

So maybe we can both just be honest with each other.  And maybe we’ll end up better friends (or family) for it.

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