Here is one real-life example.
Setting: I participated in a national evangelistic campaign of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1978 called “I Found It.” It was program that came right out of Madison Ave. I worked in a phone bank as a “telemarketer” with the purpose of calling up people and reading them the “gospel” off a flip chart. Here is how Campus Crusade evaluates it in on their history page:
1976 "I Found It!," an evangelistic billboard/bumper sticker campaign, is launched. 85 percent of all Americans are exposed to the campaign.
1978 "I Found It!" campaigns are established in more than 100 countries. As a result, more than 3.5 million people become Christians.
During the training sessions for this ill-conceived project, I watched a movie put out by Campus Crusade on techniques for evangelism. This film was put out by a guy that was Campus Crusades’ director of evangelism. It had several scenarios role-played with the goal of teaching us how to take advantage of evangelistic situations or what they would call, “Divine appointments.”
One scenario bothered me even then and I was a hard-core evangelical, or, at least I was trying to be. I will tell it the best I can remember.
There were a line of people (actors of course) at a grocery store check out. The check out counter had a sign that said, “Maximum of 15 items.” It was taking the clerk a very long time, having to call for price checks etc. One man, near the back of the line seemed fidgety. The lady in front of him had a crying baby plus about 40 items in her cart.
At the back of the line was our good Christian. He was well-dressed and well-groomed, plus it had a big (fake) smile strung across his face.
Fidgety Man (turning to Christian guy): “Man this is taking forever!”
Christian Guy (still with the big smile on his face), “You know, I used to struggle with impatience too. Then I met Jesus Christ. He completely turned my life around. Now things like this don’t bother me at all. As I walk in the spirit, my life is always filled with peace.”
Fidgety Man (with a soft humble smile): Really. I would love to have peace. Can you tell me more about this Jesus?”
This is what I’m talking about. The so-called Christian man was such a fake that I’m sure no intelligent “Fidgety man” would fall for this tactic.
I know for me, I become impatient when I’m in a long check-out line, especially if I have to be somewhere. The difference between the old, non-Christian Mike and the Christian Mike is that I will now try to talk myself out of the frustration. “Okay, Mike there is nothing I can do about this. Complaining won’t help. Relax.” The Christian Mike would also avoid saying hateful things to the people in front of me because that is not the gracious thing to do and the fact it won’t help the situation. But the emotions are really the same.
If I said, “I don’t get impatient anymore because I am controlled by the Spirit” then that would a lie and an emotional denial.
I mentioned before that I had to can a home Bible study I was leading two years ago over this issue. It was on marriage and no one would share when I asked pointed questions (about hard things in their marriages). To be fair, I shared things that irritate me about my wife, and shared (for her since she didn’t share either) things that I do which I think irritate her.
Then, during refreshment break, two of the husbands approached me and confronted me that all I was doing was trying to, “dig up dirt.” They also said things that suggested that hey didn’t think I had a healthy marriage. I think I have a very health marriage . . . but I don’t deny reality.