By Brian Mason-Associate Pastor at The Prov
One morning recently the Holy Spirit spoke a phrase to me. “We don’t want to sell you something.” As I pondered what He told me, I thought about one of the classes that I teach for a financial institution and what I teach them in that class. When we call our customers, our goal is not to “sell them something” over the phone but our goal is to have a conversation with them, to find out what is happening in their financial life and then to make a recommendation that they would actually find beneficial.
I have found that some of the bankers that attend class go back to their office and apply the information learned and they do really well as a result. Some, however are so comfortable with the “product push” over the phone that even after I have given them some great information that has the potential to completely change their phone conversations, they go back to doing things their own way. They continue to open their phone conversations with a credit card pitch or a question about a special offer and they continue to meet the same rejection they had been getting before. Why? Why do the same thing that hasn’t been working? The simple answer: It’s comfortable. They are used to the rejection and the sales pitch takes very little effort.
Let me tie this back to what the Lord told me. He’s not selling anything here. The product which is called salvation has already been paid for. Make no mistake, it is not free… there was a cost. Telling people that this salvation is simply free has a tendency to devalue what is being offered. When I think of free stuff my mind pulls up images of items that I normally don’t need such as the oversized t-shirt I got at a church convention or the office can koozies that I somehow manage to win each year. However, when I inform someone that what I am offering came with a very high price tag but the cost is covered by another, that is an attractive recommendation. I would take a free BMW over a free Ford if I had the choice.
When you look at the life of Jesus he went around meeting the needs of people. He fed the 5,000 instead of sending them away. He healed folks who had a need to see, walk or have their sanity restored. He offered love, compassion, and respect to those whom society scorned. While doing this He would tell them how to have eternal life, how to enter the kingdom of heaven, how to see God, how to inherit the earth, and how to love.
When Jesus died on the cross, He told his disciples that He would leave and send another, who He referred to as the comforter or spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit would be our guide on this earth and help us as we tell the world about how their needs can be met. The Bible uses a lot of symbolism such as the sea representing people and fish representing lost men and women. When a follower of Christ goes looking for fish, having the Holy Spirit to guide you is a little like swimming in deep sea with a wet suit on. When He is living in you He comforts you even in difficult conditions. He reminds you of what the Bible says about loving your enemies, helping those in need, and sharing the news of how to have a relationship with the God who created everything.
It’s time to start doing the gospel the way that Jesus did the gospel. It’s time to allow the Holy Spirit of God to be your guide and to hear him as he speaks into your life. Much has changed since the times of Jesus and yet the nature of people and the basic needs of humanity have always been the same. Let’s remember that salvation is not a mere “product push” but an offering of great value that deserves our best efforts as followers of Christ.