In response to my post Evangelist or Ego Driven Meddler?, a reader asked if I had any tips on how to keep your ego in check while evangelizing. As it happens, I wrote a whole book on that very matter (“I’m OK–You’re Not“) … so, yes, I do.
My first Big Tip would be not to “share” your religious convictions with anyone who hasn’t first asked you to do that. Your strongest passion cannot change the fact that no one cares what someone whom they don’t know thinks they should do with their own heart and mind.
If you want to share your religion with others, do something much more difficult than simply “witnessing” to people from out of nowhere: become so excellent a person—so thoughtful, so kind, so respectful, so honorable a person—that sooner or later the people around you—the people who know you—are moved to ask you about what makes you tick. Then you can talk to them about your religion. Insisting that someone share with you something they haven’t indicated they want is the most efficient way to make whatever you’re trying to share seem even less appealing.
The only exception to this is if—as was notably the case with Christ’s first disciples—you know the person to whom you’re talking has never heard of Christianity. Then, ego or not, have at it. Here in America, however, where it’s a safe bet that virtually everyone you meet has already heard and knows about Christianity (and can certainly, through a trillion free, easily accessible information streams, find out anything more about it that the Holy Spirit moves them to), I think it’s best for all of us who believe in Christ to remember that the proper function of a witness is to answer questions.
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