Jesus is not for sale | The Salvation Army

You are here

Jesus is not for sale

Jesus is not for sale, but it seems that’s how we often talk about him.
Posted September 5, 2013

Jesus is not for sale, but it seems that’s how we often talk about him. I was at a dinner party once and sat next to a stranger. As we struck up a conversation, he mentioned he was taking religious studies at university but was quick to point out that he wasn’t a Christian. I was intrigued, so I mentioned that I was a Christian and was interested in his thoughts on religion. He gave me an honest answer: ‘Sorry, but I don’t like to talk to Christians about this because they’re not really interested in my opinion; they’re just waiting to convince me of their opinion.’

I wish I could say I was surprised by his answer, but I knew exactly what he meant. In my earlier years, I’ve talked to non-Christians the same way. As if it was my duty to sell Jesus. I didn’t realise that Jesus sells himself. All I have to do is be the more genuine, more whole, still healing person that Jesus is helping me become. That includes being confident enough in my faith to allow others to disagree.

I think Jesus should be more like that lipstick you love, not that lipstick you’re selling. Let me explain (guys, you might want to substitute power tools for lipstick). In my teens, I did a brief, unfortunate stint as an Avon lady (sub, power tools rep). I’d go around door knocking, and if I’d been any kind of decent salesperson, I would have expounded the virtues of the latest shade of lipstick. Have you ever had someone try to sell you something, though? It’s annoying. I wasn’t a very good Avon lady because I don’t like to annoy people.

But you know what, even to this day, when I’ve found a great shade of lipstick or something I love, I tend to go around telling my girlfriends. They tell me about their latest thing, and we end up going around wearing all the same beauty products and looking the same.

Because when you love something, your enthusiasm for it is infectious. You share that love, and spread that love, and end up becoming more like those that you love.

It seems ridiculous to compare Jesus to lipstick or a power tool. He’s life-changing, future-making, world-arranging. He’s the King of kings. Jesus has changed the things about me that I could never change myself. He’s helped me through heartache and addictions. I tell my friends about Jesus because he makes my life so much better. I can’t help talking about Jesus because he is the centre of who I am—not because it’s my job to sell him.

Take Jesus himself as our true example. He never ran after people trying to convince them he was the Son of God. He stated the truth when the Holy Spirit prompted him, and was confident enough to let them make up their own minds. He respected and honoured people, even in the most difficult interactions.

Jesus is powerful, alluring and real. The most amazing thing is that he has chosen our transformed lives to spread the message of who he truly is. That’s the Jesus I’m talking about.

By Ingrid Barratt (abridged from War Cry 24 August 2013, p3)