Home > Uncategorized > I See What You’re Saying…

I See What You’re Saying…

“People will believe the behavioral message over the verbal message every time.”  – Steve Sjogren

When I was a kid, our family doctor was a man named Preston.  He smoked like a chimney.  I can recall him examining me with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth.  I can also remember him lecturing my mother about smoking, trying to get her to quit.  She laughed it off because his behavior didn’t match up with what he said.

There have been a number of books in the last few years on the subject of the disconnect between what Christians say they believe, or should believe, and the way they actually live.  Dan Kimball’s They Like Jesus But Not the Church, Kinnamon and Lyons’ unChristian, and Dean Merrill’s Damage Control: How to Stop Making Jesus Look Bad  are just a few.

My mom is a very smart person.  She knew cigarettes were not healthy.  She just felt a little indignant at a doctor who would say, “You really ought to stop smoking…” while lighting one Chesterfield off the end of another.

People who are far from God are smart people.  Many of them even understand that they live messed up lives.  But they see the call from Christians, “Come be like us…” as an invitation to mostly ignore or fail to apply the teachings of the One we claim to follow.  They don’t see the need for church or the trappings of religion to help them neglect to be the kind of people they should be.

Dr. Preston died of lung cancer.  It took 6 heart bypasses to convince my mom to stop smoking.

Can the Body of Christ turn things around without such a crisis?


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