I enjoy comedian Jim Gaffigan. If you haven’t watched him, he is funny. In his comedy sketch “Beyond The Pale” he observes,
“I want everyone to feel comfortable. That’s why I want to talk to you about Jesus.”
(Whispering what’s probably on the mind of his audience) ‘He better not!’
“It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not – does anything make you feel more uncomfortable than some stranger going, ‘I’d like to talk to you about Jesus.'”
(Acting as the other person) ‘Yeah, I’d like you not to!’
“You could say that to the Pope – ‘I want to talk to you about Jesus’ and he’d be like ‘Easy freak! I keep work at work.'”
Jim’s routine isn’t completely scrubbed clean, but if you want to watch his entire take on it check out his video. I think Jim portrays the perception of believers and unbelievers alike. He portrays the perception of believers who believe that sharing their faith is bound to lead to awkwardness at best, and rejection at worst. He also portrays the perception of unbelievers who think anyone who mentions Jesus is going to make everything awkward for everyone.
As I think about the disconcerting reality that American Christians aren’t sharing their faith, I think one of the threads within the tapestry of the issue is the fact that we believe any interaction about Jesus is almost certain to be awkward. The truth is a little more murky. Certainly a conversation about who Jesus is, and the salvation He brings can be awkward, but that’s just one of many possibilities of what can happen in such a conversation. The conversation could also be informative, stretching, interesting, and maybe even life altering. Why do we as believers convince ourselves of these false premises? I’d love to hear your thoughts