|Jesus Army evangelism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The intensity of my reaction is clearly disproportionate to the actual circumstances. After all, the Christian who feels the need to tell me about Jesus does not mean any harm. She might even think she's doing me a favor. There is no reason for me to feel threatened, and mild annoyance or even compassion would seem to be more appropriate reactions on my part than the one I have.
The thoughts that race through my head in these situations, many of which are not particularly rational, fuel the nature and intensity of my emotional response. You see, I tend to interpret acts of evangelism as unwanted invasions upon my privacy.
"I don't want to hear about your delusion!"You get the idea. There is no question that my tendency to interpret evangelism in this manner drives my reaction to it.
"How dare you shove that mind rot in my face!"
"What makes you think I am stupid enough to be impressed with this?"
"How would you like it if I came to your home in the middle of dinner?"
Since I do not generally enjoy these emotional responses, I have at least two options to consider:
- I can work on reframing these situations so that I will have more realistic thoughts and respond less intensely, or
- I can attempt to reduce the frequency with which I encounter evangelists.
Tags: atheist, Christian evangelism, evangelism, proselytizing, Jesus, privacy, reframing, thoughts, evangelists, no soliciting
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