Last Saturday afternoon our doorbell rang as we were preparing to load the cars for dinner at the family reunion we hosted over the weekend.
A pest control company was in the development on behalf of one of my neighbors. The exterminator/door-to-door salesman wanted to make sure I had the opportunity while he was in the area. For only $50 he would treat my yard, too!
I politely engaged in conversation while just as politely expressing that I was not very interested. I know I turned him down at least four times. It seemed he literally would not accept “no” for an answer.
I was probably not quite as polite at the end of the conversation as I was at the beginning, but he was wearing me out. As I stepped back inside the house and started to shut the door, I heard him say, “well, aren’t you awesome!” in a clearly sarcastic tone. (I know sarcasm; having used it myself for more than 35 years now)
Here’s the deal. When I am cold-called, I start from a place of being a very hard sell. I feel I am at an extreme disadvantage. When the salesperson has too-quick an answer to EVERY ONE of my questions, it doesn’t not build trust. No, it makes me step even further back.
My takeaway. Well, first, perhaps I could have stepped back out and pursued his sarcastic suggestion of my awesomeness. That’s water under the bridge.
Second, Christians, we can glean from insight into how other might feel when we attempt to share Jesus with them. Sure, you and I know it is not just another sales call, but it is reasonable that the other person feels like we are trying to make a sale.
The faster we respond with canned answers to sincere questions, the less interested the other person is in what we have to say.
In case you are ever told to “bug off” when trying to share your faith, consider the perspective of the other person.