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Hard Sell

August 22, 2011

The Seattle area meteorologists just keep coming up with new trivia about weather in the summer of 2011. As I write this, we have had just 5 days over 80 degrees. For the first time in over 50 years, they are projecting that we may not have any days over 85 degrees. (That mark was just topped on August 20.)

Work is hard to come by these days, but one of the toughest jobs in Seattle right now is selling air conditioning. Most of us have long forgotten the last time we saw 90 degrees. We have been waiting so long for the weather to warm up; it is hard to think about paying money to cool the air down!

Without any sense of need or urgency, selling air conditioning is tough. Certainly, it is something that can wait. When we talk to people about Jesus, a similar situation exists. If people have a home, food, and clothes, what else do they really need? If people have friends, clubs, and a job, what more could they want? People just don’t see any need for God.

I hope we don’t think of sharing Jesus in the same vein as selling air conditioning. However, we do need to think about the receptivity of the hearer. A sales person will take great care to help the customer understand the need and the value of the product. One of the most persuasive means is a testimonial – a satisfied customer.

In a culture that has so much it sees little need for God, our testimony of His difference in our life can have a powerful impact. To people who give little thought of sin or eternity, a sincere word from a changed ‘customer’ may be what helps people to grasp the value and urgency of the decision. If our transformed lives can help people to understand what is at stake, we won’t need to sell anything. No one needs to be convinced of the value of a parka in Antarctica!

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