The reason for this inconsiderate conduct is that he is not truly thinking of you and your long-term welfare, no matter how many times he might insist that he is. He’s thinking of the commission he’s going to earn from the sale, and he’s determined not to let you walk away without buying. Whether the product is a good one or not, his actions are an insult to you.
I spent 27 years in the life insurance business with a wonderful company that has been around since 1835. During my years as a salesman, I lost far more sales than I ever made. And I had a few people get angry with me over the years. But one thing I think I’m safe in saying is that I never was pushy. I was interested in that prospect’s business, if not now, then at some time in the future. The last thing I wanted a client to do was tell other people that I was a jerk.
By the time I retired in 1988 to go into full-time church work, most of my new business came from either repeat sales or from referrals from my clients.
I offered a wonderful product that would protect the security of the family or the company in question. Whether the prospective client was interested in doing business with me at this time or not, it did not alter the value of my product. If he was not ready now, that was fine. I kept in touch over the years and often was referred to friends because of the way I worked.
Once in a great while, you will run into a pushy Christian. Sometimes you are turned off by his great enthusiasm for his beliefs and his desire to have you see things his way. You might be insulted because he wants to convince you that what you believe does not agree with the Bible. You might also be asked to share what you believe with him or to answer a question for which you don’t have an answer. There are numerous reasons why you might avoid talking with that Christian about his faith. Pushy Christians do exist, but they are definitely a small minority in the family of Christ.
Christians have a right to be excited about their faith. Theirs is the only spiritual belief system on earth that offers forgiveness and eternal life in heaven as a free gift from God. Not only is it God’s gift, it is offered to all mankind and cannot be earned or deserved. It is the only belief system whose central figure died and came back to life. It is unique among all other “religions” as the only one whose leader is as alive today as when he walked the earth. He is the only perfect being who ever lived.
Christ is the only one who came to earth with the express purpose of sacrificing himself for the wrong choices of mankind. Jesus is not one of multiple ways to reach perfection. After claiming to be God in human form (John 10:30), Jesus also let it be known that all of the other ways to get right with God were false. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
Christians are given perfection before God in advance of their making any outward changes in lifestyle. Their hearts are purified by faith as they seek forgiveness from God based on the sacrificial death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ.
By offering forgiveness as a free gift, God eliminated the uncertainty of our knowing whether or not we had done enough to win his forgiveness. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Christianity is open to all, regardless of race, religion, station in life, education, ancestry, power, health or ability of any kind. All are invited to become an instant member of God’s forever family. That can happen in the blink of an eye as you are drawn and attracted to Jesus Christ by the truth of God.
Once you are a believer, your life of growing in your faith begins. But if you should die the next moment, you would be assured of joining all the believers throughout history who were attracted to Jesus and sought him. In all other faiths, you’d never know if you’d done enough well before you died to satisfy the requirements of that religion. God offers you his guarantee up front.
Yes, there are pushy Christians in this life, people who are so excited by the goodness of God that they forget their manners and “come on too strong.” But as you learn the beauty of the Christian faith, is it any wonder that someone might get a little carried away?
• To contact the Rev. Jim Bush, a pastor of Heartland Church, e-mail jimb@heartland
church.net. All religious leaders in the Tracy community are invited to write columns for Reflections on Faith.