Somewhere in my late twenties or early thirties I tried really hard to “share the gospel”. I had never really ventured outside the Christian bubble I lived in and now trembling with sometimes paralyzing fear I felt the weight of “The Great Commission” bearing down on me and urging me to “step out of my comfort zone”. I tried breaking through that Christian bubble and that imaginary comfort zone with two of my neighbors, my drug addicted childhood friend, and another high school acquaintance who had recently been diagnosed with MS. Every single one of them saw right through my empathetic facade to my ulterior motive of getting them “saved”. I don’t remember exactly what each one of them said, but they all voiced how they could sense my insincerity and wondered at my motives for suddenly befriending them. You could say they were calling a spade a spade. I could not be real, authentic, or honest, not to mention loving. I did feel honest love for my childhood friend and some affection and pity for my high school acquaintance who had MS, but my neighbors? Mostly I just felt horribly insecure around them. Come to think of it, I felt awfully insecure around the other two also. The reality is I was pretty insecure almost all the time.
To relieve these insecure feelings, I spent copious amounts of time pouring out my heart to God. I was morbidly introspective. I guess I figured actually getting out and sharing the gospel and taking the focus off myself, would fix what was wrong with me, whatever that was…because I never knew exactly what was wrong with me. So, my motive for “sharing the gospel” was guilt. Or rather, so I could relieve my guilt feelings by actually doing something unselfish. And maybe, as a side benefit, someone would escape eternal damnation and “become a Christian” and that would make me feel better, right?
Anyway, a few months in to the torturous (for me and them) visits, and after zero results, I gave up trying to evangelize. I didn’t burst that Christian Bubble. It was too uncomfortable—awkward and unnatural—and scary outside of it. I was still cocooned in my cozy comfort zone for at least another 12 years.