Does that word mean anything to you? If it does, you are probably one of the 20 million loyal followers of The Big Bang Theory—a show that started humbly, but now after 7 seasons has truly hit its stride.
For the uninitiated, The Big Bang Theory is basically a geek and chic contrast that follows the exploits of Leonard and Sheldon as they navigate life with the help of a street-smart neighbor named Penny. The two (and not a half) men are ridiculously intelligent and educated, but very, shall we say, socially challenged?
Meanwhile Penny only attended Community College, but is worldly wise, so the obvious juxtaposition leads to a multitude of gaffes and laughs. The interesting thing about the show to me is that while I would never in a million years (or universes?) want to be any of the characters—I think I’d like to hang around with them sometimes, wouldn’t you?
Most of the time, Leonard’s—and especially Sheldon’s—social awkwardness make me cringe inside. They take dorky ineptitude to an entirely new level, and while it is definitely funny, it also (unfortunately) reminds me of the vibe we as Christians too often give off to the world.
We aren’t astrophysicists or MIT grads with PhDs, but most of us love to think we are experts with the Bible and on all things Jesus—right? We have our life verses and gospel presentations memorized like Sheldon knows formulas, but at the end of the day we struggle with having a basic conversation with anyone outside of our Christian circles.
And just like the guys and their extensive knowledge of Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, we often come off like believers in a world that everyone else thinks is fantasy, because we don’t know how to back up our beliefs with evidence.
Think about it…if your friends who don’t know Jesus hung out with you and your Christian friends, would your conversation sound like Klingon or an Elvish language to them? If they attended your church or youth group, would they feel like someone who showed up at a Starcon convention without any costume or geeky knowledge?
I think it’s time we take a lesson from The Big Bang Theory, and realize that many times the world looks at Christianity like a bunch of book smart, but socially, awkward roommates who have their own language and conventions!
So what’s the solution?
Ironically, I believe the Apostle Paul saw this coming. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote these very applicable and relevant words to us today:
Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Let’s break out of our Christian cliques and holy huddles and get to know people outside the church on a personal level. We need to drop the Christianese and talk to those who need Jesus like they are extraordinary creations made in the image of God…because they are!
And puh-lease, let’s stop acting like we are smarter than everyone else, or morally superior, or whatever! A huge part of THE Cause is to “find common ground with everyone,” so that as many people as possible can hear the gospel and enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
So what’s the first step with you? Maybe it’s just getting to know some people outside our group of Christian friends. Or perhaps it is evaluating how you come across to those who don’t know Jesus. You may be giving off more arrogance than you think—or is it possible that you have your faith so hidden that people don’t even know that you know Jesus?
Let’s take the knowledge of our Big God out of the realm of theory and into the reality of the world!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
This week, ask yourself if there are any ways that your walk with Christ is making you closed off from your friends who don’t know Jesus. Pray about what it means for you to find common ground with everyone so you can share the gospel.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, You were called the “friend of sinners,” but too often Your followers have ignored those who don’t know You. Help us learn how to connect with everyone as You did, so we can share the good news of Your salvation.
Read: Matthew 10:16. “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”
Get: “How to Share Your Faith With…” Learn how to use compliments and questions to engage in real give and take dialogue with your friends who need Jesus. Check out the “Ask-Admire-Admit” approach to sharing your faith.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: Christians can sometimes be very book smart with the Bible, but very socially awkward. We need to “try to find common ground with everyone” so we have opportunity to share the gospel.
Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
- In what ways can you relate to any of the characters in The Big Bang Theory?
- Do you think we Christians come across as socially awkward to the world?
- How can we “try to find common ground with everyone”?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?