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Envy Evangelism February 6, 2007

Posted by amybeth in Deep.

I was talking with someone today who is not a Christian. The content of the discussion is not important, but I realized something as I walked away. Too often we try to convince people that what they have is not good…the traditional ‘sin is bad and ruins your life’ kind of argument. But there is no real way to convince anyone of that because sin is very often pleasurable. I thought of a parallel in that I know that eating too much chocolate is bad for me, but repeatedly telling me that is not going to diminish my desire for it one little bit. Only increasing my desire for health or weight loss or some other food alternative is going to succeed in making me give up my chocolate. Do we offer anything to peopleĀ that would make them desire what we have as Christians more than what they have as non-Christians? For example, we will try to convince them that sex outside of marriage is wrong and has all sorts of negative consequences rather than showing them the blessings and safety of God’s plan. I’m not saying that we don’t comment on the good side, only that the emphasis often falls on the negative.

For me, I’ve recognized that this is because I do not operate with 100% conviction that following God is super-duper wonderful. For me, the motivation for my obedience is still too often that of fear of punishment rather than a deep-seated confidence in God’s love and his goodness. Until I let myself fully experience the joy and security of complete dependence on God, my persuasion of others will come across as stilted and insincere, pat sayings with no real substance. And because I am a person of integrity, if I cannot present the goodness of God with conviction, I evade the topic and resort to negative arguments, attempts to create within other disatisfaction with their own lives rather than an envy for mine.

God, continue to teach me, to cause the wonder, the privilege of a life as your child to well up within me and overflow, drawing people to you.

Have you experienced any similar struggle with evangelism? What approach do you typically use and how has it been received?



1. Hamameliss - February 12, 2007

I guess I’m not ever sure that my walk is enviable. Perhaps because I have walked through some things recently that have been extremely hard, I often wonder if I really want to get people “signed-up” for what I am doing in life. I’ve gotten to the point where I share with people what my beliefs are but feel pretty strongly that I shouldn’t force my beliefs on them, perhaps unintentionally thinking that “envy evangelism” is the way it is supposed to be. If people don’t see enough of the spirit of God in my life, than perhaps it is not time for them to make that choice. Something I still have to ponder on…

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