One summer at InterVarsity’s Campus by the Sea, a fellow student shared this story: While he was sitting on the grass at school, reading a book and eating his lunch, several Christians had approached him. They learned that he was an atheist and gave him a rundown of the gospel. At the end, they asked if they could pray for him, to which he agreed. He related to our group: “I said yes so they would leave me alone. They walked away high-fiving each other, but it did nothing for me spiritually.”
To them, the interaction was an encouragement. Yet to him, it was an interruption. Same circumstance, vastly different interpretations. I’d like to think that I’m more attuned to spiritual needs than those students were and that I know how to handle each situation. But the truth is, I’ve made the same mistake, even with my close friends.