America is a great place to start a business, and a great place to sell things, though it’s not easy to do so sometimes. People sell anything from Thanksgiving dinners to buy-one-get-one-free oil changes. But there’s a problem that I see when people try to sell God as one of those products.
I’ve worked in both indoor and outdoor sales. I’ve sold binoculars, telescopes, clocks, books, compasses, Christmas decorations, maps, charts, ad space on public benches, cars, journals, and more. I’ve had little success in selling them. I hate feeling pushy. Or the feeling that I am trying to coerce and manipulate someone into buying buy a product that he doesn’t need, one that is over his budget. I am not a good salesman. And I’m not a good salesman for God.
In my training I’ve heard salesman speak of the mythical “golden egg”—the product that sells itself. If you’re selling the golden egg, they say in theory, you don’t have to do anything but stand there and people will marvel at how wonderful and timely this product is, and will realize they need the product now even when they hadn’t thought about needing it.
I suppose some people, when they try to sell God, think of Him as that great golden egg—the product that will sell Himself. That if we just show up and smile, God will do the rest.
I’m not sure this is true. Truly God has His own agenda when it comes to saving souls. The life that He offers has little to do with me or my skill, but everything to do with His righteousness and love. God asks from me obedience, not results. How He saves someone is up to Him alone, something only He will receive credit for. What Jesus accomplished on the cross was by His own power, not by anyone else’s.
But it’s tempting, isn’t, to do a good deed and to think that you earn credit with God, that if you lead someone to Christ, you get some kind of spiritual badge of honor? The thought festers the deathly greed in me. Thankfully He saved me not out of my works, but out of His grace. Thankfully God used no gimmick or sales tactic when He brought me to Him; rather, He extended His love and grace to me—far enough that I could reach it with my shriveled hand.
I believe someone who thinks he can sell God to people hasn’t fully been bought himself. God isn’t selling anything; He’s offering it. Freely. God knows we don’t have the power to buy our way into heaven. His Son already paid the price on the cross. The selling and ransoming and buying of it is done. The whole debt is paid. For someone to try and sell free life is not only wrong—it’s theft. God won’t tolerate that in His children. Thankfully His love is greater than our sin, that He readily forgives, that we don’t have to earn His life; we simply receive it.
And if we humbly do, we become as free as the unbounded life He offers. Forever.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~ Romans 6:23 ~