Aunty was always passionate about her beliefs and often became frustrated that others did not completely share this passion and do exactly what I wanted and what I considered best for them.  It is great to be passionate.

For example, football supporters believe their team is the only team on the planet.  Then you hear another team supporter shouting that their team is the only team worth cheering for.  If they cannot respect each other’s opinions, both sides seek superiority, voices are raised, others dragged in for moral support and fights start. Suddenly, passion becomes evangelism.  Onlookers see this conflict as unbelievable and could be put off sport altogether.

We cannot control what others think, say or do so cannot force them to think the same way as we do.  If they hold an opposing viewpoint to yours, all the arguing, yelling and cajoling in the world will not change it.  It is better to try to understand and respect their views and why they hold these.  Listen and appreciate the opposing arguments as these may help to broaden your perspective.

Carefully consider the message you want to communicate and deliver this clearly and simply.   Researching your audience beforehand can give you the best opportunity to influence them.  Show alternate sides to your views because there are benefits and drawbacks to every decision taken.  Never force your opinion down others’ throats.  They could respond with violent objection, with apathy or with pity for you. None of these outcomes will get your message heard and adopted.

Know that it is great to be passionate but evangelism is not sexy.