Most people do not like used car salesmen. Maybe because they are greasy looking. Maybe because they have a reputation as being someone to dislike. Usually though, the reason people do not like used car salesmen is because they are trying to sell you something and take advantage of you in whatever way they can. Usually you can spot one of these guys from a mile away. Slicked back hair, a bad suit coat, a cheesy grin, and a loud voice that continues to say over and over “this is a deal you cannot refuse.” Used car salesmen have a certain stigma about them that would not be consider a positive thing. Unfortunately, Christians have the same stigma. Christians have become like used car salesmen.
Maybe it is because of the tacky suits, or the slicked back hair, but mainly because of the way Christians always seem to be selling something. You can see how these two can often be confused. Both of their intentions can seem pure, but when you pull back the layers you see that all they are trying to do is add another person to their list and move on. In a profession that judges you by how many people you have sold to and a religion that judges you on how many people you have sold Jesus, the two can be confused and people can have the same reaction to both…“No Thanks.”
Are you selling Jesus or Being Jesus?
When I was younger my family knew a used car salesmen. He was the typical guy that was described above. There was one thing that stood out to me about this guy, he drove a brand new BMW. I found this weird, because most of his cars were not worth the tires on that BMW. I would always wonder how this guy expected to sell cars when he would not even drive them himself? Today, I know people like that used car salesmen. They own a completely different life then what they are selling. Instead of just being Jesus, they sell Jesus to the nearest buyer and then move on because they have done their job. Somehow, we have turned Jesus into a 1998 Ford Ranger with standard wheel drive and automatic windows. How do I know Jesus has been turned into a product to sell? Take a look at any Christian Bookstore, online store, or Christian Music. There is all kinds of crap (and I use crap here because that is exactly what it is) out there that takes Jesus name and slaps it on the package so it will sell. Sounds like a bad idea to me….but people buy this stuff. And we think that we have not turned Jesus into a product to sell. Christians have become the ultimate salesmen, giving the pitch then delivering the product.
In so many words, Jesus said I will sell myself. I never read about Jesus selling anything. Never did He say that if you give me this much money I will give you a miracle. I do know that Jesus has said that I will sell myself. His message stands on its own and does not need a pitch to make it any better. Instead He is calling for you and me to stop selling Him and start living like Him. In turn, the “product” starts to sell itself because people can see that others believe in it enough that they are willing to change their entire lives to follow and be like Jesus.
The only thing that separates Christians from used car salesmen is the car we drive. Are we willing to drive the cars we are selling or are we driving a BMW? Are we going to follow the teachings of Jesus and live like He has called us to live or are we going to live our own way and continue to try and sell others Jesus? What is one thing that you can do this week to stop selling Jesus and start living like Jesus?