Perhaps, the simplest, most overlooked problem that Christians face when trying to communicate the message of Jesus to others boils down to one word: Worldview.
How an individual percieves the world.
Well, because the Judeo-Christian faith tradition requires a basic understanding that many do not embrace, yet many Christians assume is commonplace...
This idea is that humans are fundamentally flawed.
We're a broken product, and in need of mending.
We're like a piece of artwork that has yet to be completed.
The Judeo-Christian worldview begins in a place of imperfection.
A place where the individual realizes that they're lacking.
But, so often, Christians can miss the proverbial boat because, not everyone sees life through this particular paradigm.
In fact, Jesus talked to people who didn't believe this.
All the time.
Actually, a large portion of Jesus' interactions in the New Testament took place with people who actually saw themselves as quite good. People who did and said all the right things. These were people who saw themselves as good, not lacking.
Naturally this caused quite a lot of awkward encounters between Jesus, and these individuals.
I mean, how can someone need a savior if they're ok to begin with right?
If someone isn't drowning, why would they need a lifeguard?
If you aren't sick, why in the hell would you need a doctor?
The math just doesn't add up, does it?
Christianity isn't deeply going to impact a person, unless they first realize that something isn't quite right inside.
If we're all honest with ourselves, no matter how good things may be at any given time, there are constant questions that we can't shake. A persistent feeling of things being out of place. Do you know what I'm talking about?
"What was he thinking when he took that? It wasn't his..."
"I can't believe I didn't see it coming. She seemed so happy didn't she?"
"How could he do that to me, after I trusted him?"
"Why do I have these feelings inside? I know they won't lead anywhere good."
Question after question.
Why aren't things such and such a way?
Why do I feel these things?
Will it ever end?
Humans have a remarkable ability to deny the weight of reality. To distract ourselves, in hopes that whatever it is that's pursuing us, will somehow disappear. But it doesn't.
Something's wrong and, Christianity, teaches that it's in our nature to want to do the things that are destructive to us. We're getting better, everyday, at finding creative ways to make a mess of our lives, and the lives of others.
Why do people steal and lie?
Why do spouses cheat?
Why do people smoke cigarettes, when they know they cause cancer?
Why do people drink themselves stupid, and spend hours spewing their guts back out?
Why do we fight, and kill each other over land, oil, and pride?
Why do significant others abuse each other?
The answer will depend on your worldview.
It depends on your opinion about whether humans are, at their core good beings, or not.
It took a lot of honesty for me to get real with myself. We all like to think that we're pretty good people, and that other people have all the problems, but that just isn't true.
We all have baggage that we're carrying, even the best of us.
I have baggage that I'm still carrying. (Hard to believe, I know. ;)
But there's hope...
When everything falls apart, and you're left to face the reality that life really is completely, utterly out of your control, then you begin to understand the desperate need we humans have within us for a savior.
It isn't till you nearly drown, that you can fully appreciate a lifeguard.
It isn't till you nearly die, that you appreciate the deft hands of a surgeon.
It isn't till you realize the absolute fragility of this thing called human, and the sheer magnitude of our broken existence, that you can fully appreciate what Jesus Christ offered to all.
Not just me.
Not just you.
Realizing the flawed nature of humanity, is often the beginning of a brand new story. A story full of opportunities extended by the divine. A story of a Savior, and what he means to a shattered humanity.