During my high school and college years, I would correct people when they used incorrect grammar. Is it safe to assume most people who read weblogs also write them? If you also write, then maybe you will relate. If someone misused a word as they told a story to a group of friends, I would interrupt. Of course, I couldn't quietly correct them or point it out later when we didn't have an audience. I had to stop them and ask if they were aware of their error. When they couldn't identify it for themselves, I would point out the correct usage with my shoulders back and eyes half closed. It's hard to believe so many years passed before I learned how much people hated me for it.
The latest Press post reminded me of this period of my life. Lindsey's comment about people wanting to avoid a preachy image also brought it to mind.
All analogies break down, but how well does this one fit? If a man becomes a language teacher, are his lessons most effective in the classroom and in the company of friends or family? If a stranger in line at the movies says something irregular to a friend, how much will the person appreciate the language teacher leaning in and offering a correction?
On the other hand, if the man at the movies were to write a piece for work or his own enjoyment, he might wonder to himself if he has used his words well. He might even ask himself how he could learn.
I think plenty of people want answers. Even if they are hostile in one environment, they might be receptive in another. Many of us have trouble discerning the best time. I know I do, and so I have on several occasions assumed, "this is a bad time." But this means I've called most every opportunity a bad time.
How would you discern a good time to talk about your faith? Do you think your decisions come from a discernment of the other person or a gauge of how comfortable you feel?