A few weeks ago, because I had a lot of time on my hands, I watched BBC’s Merlin. Now I know that the show has been off air for like 4 years now, but I’ve only recently had the time and the urge to watch it. I was surprised at how much I liked it. In fact, after I finished watching all the 5 seasons, I was in mourning for two whole days. (If you haven’t watched the show, something really sad happens at the end. And for those of you who have, I feel your pain.) During this time and for like 2 weeks after that I just wanted to talk to somebody about it. You know, reminisce the good moments and throw in a lot of “I can’t believe the writers did that!” and “I know I should have seen it coming, but THE FEELS!” You know what I mean? But unfortunately, my social circle comprises of really cool people who don’t get what it feels like to be hurt about something that happened to a fictional character. They’re busy, you know, what with living their lives and all. So I just went out of my way and got a former colleague interested in watching the show just so I would have someone to talk to about it.
Now here’s the thing: I am passionate about things like this. I mean I don’t just love shows and characters, I LOVE shows and characters. I will read up on them, watch and re-watch episodes, have really lengthy discussions about them and even quote them in day to day conversations. So if you meet me in person and I say something and start snickering like a buffoon, there is a high possibility that I’ve just quoted a fictional character. There is also a possibility that I have cracked a terrible joke that only I will ever find funny. But, either way, it will make you think that you’re talking to a mad-woman. (Which may not be entirely untrue, just saying)
So what got me thinking after those few weeks of Merlin-madness was, why am I not like that about Jesus? I mean, I do love Him and I do have a real relationship with Him. So why is my love for Jesus not adequate enough for me to want the world to know? What is keeping me from reading up on every text related to Him? What is holding me back from the potential lengthy discussions I could have about Him? What makes my love for those fictional characters stronger than my love for Jesus?
The answer, sadly, lies within me. I watch and re-watch the series I love. But I don’t read and re-read the Bible as much. I can watch back-to-back episodes but not be willing to push myself to read another chapter of the Bible. I can freely talk about Merlin, Sherlock, Iron Man, Captain America and the IT Crowd with my FRIENDS, but hesitate when talking about someone as real as Jesus.
This doesn’t make me any less of a Christian, it just means I am afraid to lose my friends. Before you start a riot, allow me to explain. All of my friends and colleagues know I am a Christian; that I am active in church and that I pray every day. They know that because of the way I live my life. But I have hardly ever made an extra effort to talk to them about the One who is such an important part of my life. Because I have seen a lot of people push Jesus onto other people, which makes them feel awkward and want to avoid them the next time. And this was the only way I’ve seen people “Evangelize”- either push too hard or not at all.
But here’s what I learned: If you are passionate enough about something and completely in love with something, you’d want the world to know about it too. So what limited me from “evangelizing” was that I was afraid to sell Christianity. Then I understood, I didn’t want to sell Christianity. Not really. I want them to know about Jesus. The Jesus that has loved me, without judging. The Jesus that has taught me to love myself and others. The Jesus that is always there for me. The Jesus that loves them and is always there for them too. THAT’S what I want to talk about. And then I found it exhilarating when I did. Pointing people in the direction of Jesus is more fulfilling than pointing people to the ones that follow Him.
So to wrap things up, Evangelizing is fun (for you and for the audience) only when the focus is on Jesus and not on everything else.