I am a marketer. I specifically enjoy online marketing, making the world wide web work for my clients. I enjoy every aspect of the sales process, and have learned that everyone is selling something all the time.
Of course, there are times when marketing is not appropriate to the situation. For instance, no one appreciates having the job of washing the dishes “sold” to them. The more one extolls the virtues of dunking your hands repeatedly in soapy, greasy water to get a semblance of clean on to the dishes, the less delighted the listeners are bound to be. We do some things because we have to, not because we want to.
My job affects my life. Sometimes, it seems like my job is my life. And that affects my every day interactions with other. As I walk more closely with my Lord, I become more aware of His desire to see souls saved.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
I share the burden for lost souls more and more, and feel that it is my duty to win those souls for the Kingdom. Single-handedly. I find myself trying to package” the gospel in pretty wrapping to make it more appealing. I show the benefits, trying to make it more relevant, more current. I downplay the negatives.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
I can’t actually do it alone.
Now, the gospel really is the Good News. It is full of life, hope, peace and joy. Jesus eases our burdens and strengthens us along the way. But that doens’t mean there won’t be burdens, or that we don’t need strengthening.
Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
I tend to show the joy and peace (even when I’m not feeling it). I act as if there are no burdens. That doesn’t help anyone – not the lost souls I’m trying so hard to reach, nor the newly saved I’m trying to minister to. All it does is make the Way seem unattainable. I create the impression that, in order to be a “good” Christian, one needs to be perfect.
Needless to say, I am not perfect at all. The stress of trying to present the gospel or the Christian life in my version of a way that honours God, is exhausting. He assures us that His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30), so if I am finding it heavy going, that means I’m living it wrong. What I’ve been learning recently, during my Quiet Time and in various Church services, is that I need to live an honest Christian life, warts and all. It’s not about how I portray the gospel, it’s about responding to the challenges of life in a real way, out of the abundance of a Spirit-filled heart. And the only way to achieve that is to be filled with the Spirit. John 15:5 tells us that abiding in Christ allows us to bear much fruit. In other words, I need to be saturating my daily life with His Word, and let His Spirit take care of the rest.