Evangelizing is when we take something that worked for us and insist that it will work for someone else.
And the problem with this exchange is, our enthusiasm outmaneuvers our emotional intelligence. We fail to check in with the other person to see if they actually need any help in the first place, or if our help will even be useful to them.
Like when the random unemployed hipster in the locker room notices your allergies and starts prescribing you his proven remedy of apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, local honey, probiotics and frankincense essential oil.
This is the fallacy of evangelism.
It has nothing to do with the gospel and everything to do with the guess.
We make assumptions. That others need enlightenment. That people know and understand our thinking. That everybody wants to operate at our level. That everybody wants what we have.
They don’t. They never do.
Devine’s pioneering book on experiencing loss reminds us that it’s not our job to fix people’s pain. Doing so is not humanly possible, but it’s also not what we’re called here to do. Instead, our job to is to companion people inside of their pain. To interact from a place of compassion and curiosity, not assumption and ascribing.
Next time you’re tempted to go make disciples of all nations, baptizing everyone you meet with holy water of your own personal ideology, remember that not everybody wants what you have, and that’s okay.
It doesn’t make them wrong or evil or stupid.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Have you become obnoxious about your newfound enlightenment?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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