How would you feel if you got to pick a car out of two options - only to discover later that there was a third one, an amazing one, that you never knew about. Would it seem fair for others to say "Well, it was your choice - you could have chosen that third option." What would you respond?
Quite likely, you would say - "How could I choose it if I never knew about it?"
Now think about our faith.
We hold on to it like it's our personal possession. We've discovered it, but we act like everyone else will have to discover it on their own. We're 'in', that's all we need to worry about.
And why doesn't everyone else hurry up and realise what they're missing? We want them to notice we've got something they don't, and to want what we have - but then we aren't willing to go out there and tell them what that is.
It's like a whole bunch of people smugly watching us choose one of two cars, when they know that there is another one that would be perfect for us if only we knew about it - yet saying nothing.
Instead, we try to be comfortable for others. To water down and downplay our 'Jesus Freak-ishness' so as not to offend.
No wonder people don't want Christianity - most of what they see is far from genuine, so they don't even know what following Jesus really means.
We spend so much time catering to what other people think they want, that we forget to show them what is actually real.
“A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
Jobs was talking about why he never designed products based on focus groups—what the average consumer thought they wanted in a phone or computer—but I think it applies to Christian communities, too. Sometimes we try too hard to be all things to all people, rather than just going all-out with the vision that’s been planted in us. It’s important to listen, but it’s also important to not get distracted and confused about the goal: Not giving people what they think they want, but living out the love and showing them what they didn’t know they wanted." From Kristin Tennant at 'Half Way to Normal'.
We very easily compromise, because we believe what others tell us about what they think they want.
But we know what is possible. We know what is real and true. We can't wait for others to ask us for something they don't even know exists.
They aren't going to. It's like the third car. If you don't know it's there, how can you ask for it?
And I'm not advocating Bible bashing, or even preaching on street corners.
We need to take hold of what we know for ourselves, really take hold of it and live it out in faith. Faith means believing that what we have is actually worth sharing no matter the cost.
Then we actually have something to offer those who are lost and searching, and don't even know what they are missing.
Jesus is not meant to be a secret.
Peace and joy. (Romans 5:1-11)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.