Selling God

Selling God

Matthew 7:6 Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

When we were first married, my wife and I won a free carpet cleaning.  In our ignorance, we unwittingly invited a vacuum salesman into our home.  This poor salesman had no idea that he was walking into an impossible situation with two poor newlyweds who had no hope of affording his fancy vacuum.  I am sure it was a fine vacuum but we really just wanted the carpet cleaned and he went away none the richer.  It was, from the beginning, a colossal waste of his time and effort.

I think as a Christian, I often feel that I need to try to be God’s salesman, convincing anyone and everyone that they need what I am selling.  Jesus however, was no salesman and this passage, I think, says that I do not have to be either.

I am often asked by a concerned friend to speak to the one who is struggling with addiction.  My first question is always, Do they want to talk to me? I am always willing to talk and listen. I will do whatever I can to help spur someone on to recovery but I am no salesman.  At some point, the seeker has to do some seeking.  I cannot believe or do for anyone else.

So, I have come to understand this passage in this way.  As Christ’s hands and feet on earth, I am to do whatever He asks. I am to share with others what He has done for me.  It is not my job however, to sell God to those who have no interest.  I often feel the burden to argue with the one who does not believe.  I have yet however, to argue someone into the kingdom or recovery.

Jesus’ approach seemed to be much more about attraction than promotion.  He loved, He healed and He spoke the truth.  He did not however, chase after those who did not follow.  He taught his disciples to shake the dust off their feet if they were not accepted.

This did not discourage him in any way from taking his message to those who needed it.  He sought out the lowly and the hungry, associating with prostitutes and lepers.  As it happens, there are enough sick and needy around me that I do not have to spend my time trying to convince anyone of need.  Those who see their need are all around me.  I just need to be willing to engage them.

Everyone needs God as much as the addict.  The reality is however, that few see it.  If you do not need God, you just do not need God and you will not seek him. So, I go to those who see their need.  This may mean that I have to touch those the world considers lowly. It is of course, precisely for the lowly (including me), that Christ came.

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