In almost every one of my relationships there comes a point when the other person—whether acquaintance, friend, or coworker—realizes that I’m kind of a jerk.
It often comes as an epiphany, a sudden realization that, now that they think about it, I was a jerk all this time---they just never realized it before. Perhaps they had chalked up my standoffishness to introversion or my critical nature to an analytic mind. Maybe my gruffness was because I was in the Marines or that my social skills atrophied because of disuse. However they had previously excused my behavior, they now realized that, nice guy that I might appear on the exterior, I am a barely tolerable jerk.
How is this possible? How can I be a Christian for over three decades (since the age of six) and still be such a jerk? The only response I can give is that if I wasn't a Christian I'd be much, much worse. As Evelyn Waugh--another Christian who recognized he was a nasty chap--once said, "If not for my faith I would be barely human."
Keep reading to see how the Gospel helps jerks like Joe.