"The thing I loved about Nadine was that I never felt like she was selling anything. She would talk about God as if she knew Him, as if she had talked to Him on the phone that day. She was never ashamed, which is the thing with some Christians I had encountered. They felt like they had to sell God, as if He were soap or a vacuum cleaner, and its like they really weren't listening to me; they didn't care, they just wanted me to buy their product."
-Donald Miller Blue Like Jazz
I can identify with this quote, the sad thing is, I can identify with the Christians who feel like they have to sell God. Sometimes I get in the mindset that I need to go out and witness to people so I can credit at least one saved person to my name when I reach Heaven. So I can say, "Look God, I brought at least one person with me." Did somebody just say "self-absorbed?" Or maybe that was the Holy Spirit convicting me.
Am I trying to sell my faith to people, covering up the not-so-glamorous parts, so they will buy? Or am I authentic? Is my relationship with Jesus real? Do I talk about Him like a friend and not a product? Do I really care about people? Do I want to introduce them to my friend so their lives will have real meaning or am I ashamed to talk about Him because he's just not cool enough?
If I am really honest with myself, I don't like all my answers.
But, there is hope! Look at Peter - he denied Christ three times. The night before He told Jesus I will die with you if need be. Jesus took the weakness in him and made him stronger. Strong enough to be the leader of His church. Peter just had to be broken first. He learned the hard way that anything good and righteous in himself was from above.
On my own I am just a self-absorbed person looking out for number one. With Jesus, on his strength, I can move past myself, be authentic, and be used by Him.
PS Just in case you haven't noticed, these last two blogs have been inspired by Donald Miller quotes. If you haven't read his book Blue Like Jazz, I would highly recommend it. It is thought-provoking, convicting and an interesting read.