“The Bumper Sticker Dilemma”

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So what do you think about encouraging people to “Try Jesus”? It sounds like a good thing, right? It is sort of like proclaiming the Good News, right? Shouldn’t we ask, “Did you try Jesus?” But what about that little word “try”?

In everyday life, I “try” to lose weight, and I fail. I “try” a new sandwich at a fast food store, and I don’t like the sauce they’ve used on it. So in this respect, “try” doesn’t seem right because of the possibility of my failure or my personal likes and dislikes.

In religious life, a person may “try” astrology or “try” crystals and talismans. A person may “try” an “-ism” or an “-ity.” So in this other respect, “try” doesn’t seem right because of the possibility that what a person is looking for may not materialize until they find the right thing that gives them what they are seeking. And what if they are seeking the impossible?

This is the beauty of the first question that Jesus asks as recorded in the Gospel of John.

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?”…John 1:38 (NRSV)

In many respects, this is a companion the first question that God asks as recorded in Genesis.

But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9

As a believer, I know the answer to these questions, but if I wasn’t, would I be best helped by asking me “What did you try?” OR “Where are you? What are you looking for?”

“A relationship with God who created the universe” is what you will find and “in the presence of God who loves you intensely” is where you will be. This, I believe, is Real Life Jesus.

9 thoughts on ““The Bumper Sticker Dilemma”

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I’m going make a point of asking people that God brings my way, “Where are you?” and “What are you looking for?” and then let them do the talking for a while. (Plus I think it’s a really cool how the first question in Genesis goes so well with the first question in the Gospel of John, you know?!? Like maybe that could lead into a discussion about our personal faith, you know? There may not be a “right” way to share Jesus, but I do think that we too often don’t listen as much as we could. Anyway, thanks for the feedback and thanks for the WordPress “follow”!

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      1. I totally agree. I always imagine Jesus asking me who I brought with me when I get to heaven. His last command in Matthew 28 was to go and make disciples, so I try my best to do exactly that. Sometimes it happens organically, but most times I find connections just by being kind and asking questions, like you said. If we are willing to listen, God will send the broken people our way. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I remember saying to my sister, “Taste, and see that the Lord is good.” She told she had done that and nothing happened. She didn’t see him as good.

    Sort of the same thing as giving God a “try.” Maybe it isnt good to say that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Belle, what a coincidence! I had been thinking about that same verse from Psalms, but at the last minute chose not to use it in this post. I had been reading it almost as a guaranteed promise, but depending on where a person is…well, you know, right? I wonder if this is why Jesus spoke about “if you hunger and thirst for righteousness…”?!? Thanks for sharing this!

      Liked by 1 person

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