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A have a favor to ask you on behalf of a friend of mine. He’s working on a project and has been soliciting answers from both believers and non-believers to the following question:
What do other Christians do or say that frustrates you?
I thought we might be able to generate some thought-provoking answers to that question, which I end up addressing more than once in the new book.
For instance, one time I overheard a well-meaning Christian say, “It’s totally a God thing that my flight got canceled, because I got to share my faith with the lady next to me. Talk about a divine appointment!”
That kind of over-spiritualization of chance occurrences really frustrates me, because it’s so narcissistic. Yes, Christians place a high value on the salvation of a single soul. But do you really want to infer that God whipped up a thunderstorm at DFW, piled stress on airline employees, and inconvenienced hundreds of travelers just to engineer a single (eternally significant) conversation? Really?
I can’t go there. If my flight gets canceled, I’m hesitant to assume a master evangelistic plan. I’d much rather chalk it up to a backlog of delayed flights due to a major storm somewhere. That’s not a God thing. It’s just common sense. The alternative — delighting in it for self-centered evangelistic purposes, without giving a thought to the countless other people who just want to get home in time to say goodnight to their kids — is pretty unattractive.
Anyway, there’s an example.
Please note: the aim here isn’t to pile on to Christians for the stuff we all do. Think of it as constructive criticism. What are the things we Christians do or say that might seem harmless to us, but could be annoying or frustrating from another perspective?