Same Medicine, Different Color

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM

One time when I was a child my mother came home with a bottle of Listerine. I want to make sure you know what Listerine is, it is a mouthwash used to clean all the germs out of your mouth after brushing your teeth. Or at least that is how I think of it. Back in those days it came in a real bottle and had a nice copper color to it.

I decided that I would give good dental hygiene a try for a change and try this stuff out. I put a little in my mouth, swished it around and then started to wonder if this stuff was gasoline or mouth wash! I thought of course this stuff kills germs in your mouth; it kills everything else as well. Nothing could burn and taste like that and not kill everything it touches. That stuff burned!

I must admit for any of you Listerine fans that indeed it must have worked because once I got over the bad taste my mouth did seem to just feel a bit cleaner than it did before. I also must admit that I rarely touched the stuff after that original experience.

Low and behold I looked in my bathroom the other day and in a nice plastic bottle with a green color to it I saw the name Listerine. This looked nothing like the original cooper colored bottle and it had a slogan on it that caught my attention. It said, “Less Intense, Equally Effective”.

I thought the makers finally got it, give me that good working mouthwash, clean out my mouth and use something that does not taste like gasoline. I was eager to give it a try and see the difference after all these years. My mouth was prepared for a nice minty flavor. My mouth and the rest of me were greatly disappointed. It still tasted like gasoline, as far as I could tell nothing had changed. The stuff still tasted bad but still left my mouth feeling cleaner after I recovered. It was the same stuff just with a prettier color and a plastic bottle.

I guess some things you just can’t change. While thinking of Listerine I got to thinking of how some of us present the message of the good news of Christ. For some we come across like gargling gasoline. It is a tense, confrontational message, sometimes filled with anger and rarely does it sound loving. We point fingers; we talk of sin and hell and rarely mention the love of God as represented in Jesus Christ. Some of us do not intend on making it sound so harsh but we just come off so negative it is hard to imagine anyone would want to know more about Christ. I must admit guilt in this area in the past.

Perhaps we need to look at our presentation of the Gospel and see what kind of package we are putting it in. Are we presenting it in a Listerine type of way that burns or a minty green type of way that attracts? Remember the slogan, “Less Intense, Equally Effective”. Some times we are so eager to share Christ and so intense in our feelings that we present the message in a very harsh way.

I am convinced the longer I present the message that we can be less intense and just as effective in our Christian walk. The message of Christ will never change. Christ came to this earth, lived a perfect live, paid the price for our sins on a cruel wooden cross and victoriously rose from the dead on the third day. Because He died and rose again we too can look forward to victory over death and life eternal with God, should we choose to accept that loving sacrifice. Really it is a simple message and a simple choice, no matter how we package it, it is each individual’s responsibility to either accept it or reject it. It matters not how intense we are in sharing the message.

Though the message is the same, the way we present it can change. People tend to listen better when someone is not in their face pointing fingers. People tend to want to respond better when the message is shared in love not in anger. It is only natural, think of how you would like the message shared with you.

How blessed we are, we have the greatest message to deliver of all time. The message of a cleansing of our sin by a loving God, that message will never burn going down! Perhaps we are less intense, but the message is just as effective.

Scripture: Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Easy Message, Good taste)

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to present your loving message of salvation in a loving manner. One that is effective to those that we share it with. Help us to share the words of life with a lost world that needs it so desperately. Most of all we thank you for your love. In Christ Name, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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