"Boss man! Can I help you?"
"Oh no," I thought. I didn't look up from my iPhone. I was walking through a mall, buried in a text message when this guy tried to I interrupt. He noticed I didn't have a phone case and wanted to sell me one from his little stand.
"It looks like you could use a case for that guy!"
"No sir," I said through a plastic smile. "I'm good."
And I carried on.
This guy didn't know me. He didn't say "I notice you don't have a phone case. Tell me why, friend." I don't think he cared much about my story. If he did, he would have learned that I love not having a phone case. I love how darn sexy it is. iPhones are so cool naked. They're metallic and shiny and slide right in your pocket (okay, yes, it's cracked currently, but I have no regrets).
There's a sweater in the back of my car.
I always keep it there. Why? Same reason I like to always have an iPhone charger on me.
I've noticed you want to be the guy ready with stuff people actually need. For some reason there's always someone who gets cold, and people's phones really do die (I confess that these are super first word problems, but bear with me). The other day, driving home, I noticed my girlfriend was a bit chilly. I'm a knight in freaking shining armor, because I had a sweater in the back seat. Score.
Same goes for the phone charger. I mean, right? Did your phone die recently? I bet it did. In fact, I bet you're reading this blog on a dead iPhone. If you were hanging out with me I'd pop up with a strangely colored cable and charging brick (because I hate it when people steal them... c'mon I'm not that generous) and I'd charge the crap out of your lifeless smart device...
Anyway, Jesus taught a certain way of life. He mentioned that he had peace for the anxious. He explained that a reasonable load awaited those who feel weighed down. He outlined how to be free from unforgiveness. I don't know about you, but I've certainly been through the ringer with all of those. Still working on them, in fact. But I've found some tools, had some successes and try to share everything that I can. The way of Jesus turns out to be really helpful when you apply it.
But I'm a bit sad to notice that it seems like lots of my Christian brothers and sisters act like iPhone case guy sometimes.
"Hi random stranger! Would you like a solution to problem you don't know you have? Take it! Take the JESUS. PLEASE TAKE THE JESUS YOU NEED IT. PLEASE GOSPEL!!!!"
I wonder if maybe our approach needs altering.
Maybe instead, we could get really good at actually living the types of lives that Jesus talked about. We can learn about forgiveness and peace and joy and purpose, etc... and as we catch on we begin to share it. When they're curious, we can explain. We'll observe actual human needs, throwing sweaters and chargers in our car for world that desperately needs them.
"Joshua! People need the Gospel!"
You're right. I'm not saying "whatever" to the supremacy of Jesus. I cannot deny that this historical figure seems to have the cosmos, the universe, all of time leaning in His direction. But I think the Gospel informs, effects every sector of life— not just the eternal later — and I'm wondering if we can be more thoughtful, sometimes more subtle in our approach.
Just an idea.