Preaching the Bad News

Preaching the Bad News

People have a natural tendency to tell others about things that improve their lives. If a new book gives tips to help you get organized, readers tell their friends about it. If a TV show is really funny, fans promote the show and the joy it brings them.

I do this as much as the next person. Inspired by Catholic Answers’ own Jimmy Akin, I’ve been practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF), and I’ve seen great benefits from the practice. So I’ve been telling people about how it has improved my health.

But the response I’ve received has been unlike the typical response when I discuss other interests of mine. When I broach a topic like Catholicism or politics or baseball, I usually get polite but unenthusiastic responses. Occasionally someone asks for more particulars, but most of the time I just hear, “That’s nice, I’m glad you like that.” But people seem to be genuinely interested in IF, with people peppering me with follow-up questions and some telling me that they too have started practicing it themselves.

Why the different reaction? Am I just a better salesman for IF than other things? Although losing thirty pounds in three months is a strong selling point, I don’t think it’s my sales pitch that’s different. It’s the topic, or more specifically, the type of problem it addresses. When hearing about IF, people immediately recognize that it might solve a problem they recognize in their own lives.  When someone is physically unhealthy, he knows it, and when he hears about something that might help, he reaches for it like a drowning man who’s thrown a life-preserver.

Now contrast this with the biggest barrier to Catholic evangelizationmany people don’t “feel” anything is wrong spiritually.

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