My wife and I got into a conversation this morning on the implications of sticking one of those little plastic “Jesus fish” on the back of your car. Of course, the conversation was sparked by the behemoth SUV that had cut us off in traffic because the driver was obviously in a bigger hurry than we were aaaaannnnd she just happened to be sporting one of those beloved icons of religious proclamation just above the Chevrolet logo.
We were, like, inches from it.
Yeah, for our side!
Here’s the thing: I’m all for a person’s right to declare your religious affiliation from the rooftops. I’m all for being proud of what your God has done in your life. I’m fine with all that.
But a little plastic, stick-on fish on the trunk of your car isn’t doing that!
It’s akin to anonymous online flaming commentaries, passed off as “speaking the truth in love”, yet espousing how Jesus is definitely a white, capitalist-loving, homophobic, republican and anyone who thinks otherwise is going straight to hell in a liberal-infested, compromised, socialist paid-for, moocher-class hand basket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not that I have an opinion on the matter.
What are the odds that anyone seeing your Jesus fish is actually going to think better of you? Especially when hung on the back-end of your hyper-revving, four-wheeled ego box with you inside all white-knuckled and sweaty, bared teeth, bloodshot eyes, glaring at them while stuck in the midst of 5-o’-clock traffic?
For every hundred people who look at your decal and appreciate the significance of having God in your life, all it takes is that one time—one time—of unvarnished self-centeredness, of a momentary lapse in “do unto others”, that brief flash of annoyance/anger/rage/frustration, to unravel any semblance of the “good news” you’re so halfheartedly trying to spread.
Instead, you merely come off as that hypocritical Christian ass*** who just cut me off in traffic with her gigantic SUV.
No, that’s not actually how I feel. But my point still stands.
Honestly, the gist of the conversation between my wife and I revolved around a supposition that this harried woman may well have had very good reasons for driving as she did. Maybe she was late for a job where one more tardy appearance and she’d be fired. Maybe she just had a phone call over some desperate family emergency. Maybe she was late for a much-needed job interview.
Who knows? And, that’s just the point.
We. Don’t. Know! Any supposition of her true intentions is just that, guess-work.
There’s no intentionality with sticking a Jesus fish on your car. There’s no attempt at relationship. There’s no buy-in. It’s the same as sticking those little anonymous $1,000,000 bills in the New Age books at Barnes & Noble.
Hurray for evangelism! Mission accomplished! “I saved me some souls today, heyyup!”
All anyone sees is a manic-driven SUV with the shiny bronze Jesus fish on the back and the mind automatically plummets to the lowest common denominator. It’s simple human nature.
Damn hypocritical Christians! Again!
So do us, your Christian brethren, a favor and remove your beloved Jesus fish. All of you. You know who you are.
You’re not helping.
If you want to declare your faith from the rooftops, fine. Do it. With your voice. Not your car. If you’re proud of what the Lord has done in your life, great. Tell the world. It’s called a testimony and it’s the second most valuable gift that God has given you to extend to others.*
By all means, get into a relationship. Or several. Get into a conversation. Face to face. Over coffee. Over lunch. Not over your car’s hood. Not through the rolled down driver’s window at the top of your lungs with your middle finger extended because the guy you just cut off was not happy about the way you just declared your faith and belief to him…
You know…within inches of his own Jesus sticker…at 70 mph.
*Do I really need to tell you what the most valuable gift was??