Story of the Day for Saturday July 7, 2012
Distilling the Truth
. . .Our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”. . . However many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:18, 20
At church, I often park next to a red pickup, with a sticker that says: DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT. “Well,” I think to myself, “what kind of a Christian truck is that?” But when I learned that the truck’s owner is a grandmother, her sheer spunkiness was inspiring. You go, grandma!
Let’s talk about bumper stickers. Now, I didn’t choose this Bible verse from 2 Corinthians because I have the slightest intention of explaining what Paul means by it, but because it summarized the fulfillment of all God’s promises by one word: “YES.” In Jesus, everything God promises is “YES.” That’s as pithy as it gets.
Bumper stickers have to be like that. You can’t blab. If your kid is an honor roll student at Westwood High, or if you visited Carlsbad Caverns, you have to get to the point.
Bumper stickers can also be used as a witness to Jesus – which is why I never use them – I’m not that good a driver. But, in addition to that, I’m a bit snooty about the whole thing. Bumper stickers are a little too simplistic for my refined sophistication. How can you fit the depth of God’s wisdom on a bumper sticker? I have scoffed at the shallowness of it all.
But I have repented.
Yes, the wisdom of God is deeper than anything that will fit on a bumper sticker. Nevertheless, I’ve discovered that, when you can state your goal or belief in a phrase short enough to fit on a bumper sticker, it is more helpful than complex formulations of faith. When I am lazy and want to veg out, “Carpe Diem” (“Seize the Day”) gets me going. On cold, gray mornings, when I don’t want to put snowshoes on and run the dogs up the mountainside, it helps to say “Just Do It.” When confronted with repeated failure, a friend taught me to say what Peter said to Jesus: “. . . nevertheless, at your word, I will let down the nets.” When I want to judge a fallen brother, I am aided by the phrase, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Jesus habitually pushed the envelope by shocking and surprising people to get them to think about the kingdom of God. In my bumbling way, I want to do the same. But maybe finding spiritual edification in bumper stickers is going too far.
But think about it: if the biblical truth you want to ingrain in your life can be put in one phrase, it becomes a practical motivator. Something you can apply.