A former colleague of mine, Kent, is amazing story-teller. His stories always begin with the following line, “I was thinking…”
I do not have Kent’s sense of humor, but I have had a couple of thinking moments of late.
Last week while stuck in traffic, I started reading bumper stickers. It is fascinating what can be communicated in just a few words.
If God's Not a Broncos Fan, Why are Sunsets Orange and Blue?
Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him
Pray for Peace
Where’s my bailout?
There was one that has kept my attention – “Respect Life.” This is actually a fairly common bumper sticker in Colorado; one can even purchase license plates with this message. It wasn’t the message so much as what the message was attached to – a brand new Jaguar XJ. When I got home I did some research, the base price for this car is $72,500.
This got me thinking about respecting life. According to Compassion International 26,000 children under the age of 5 die each day mostly from preventable diseases.
What is being communicated when a “Respect Life” bumper sticker is displayed on the back of a $72,500 car?
Is it really respect when we spend obscene amounts of money on ourselves?
In Luke 18, an interesting conversation is recorded between Jesus and a rich ruler. If this guy were around today, he easily could have paid for the Jaguar XJ with cash. He was a person who knew the rules and did his best to follow them—probably even had a “Respect Life” bumper sticker.
He lacked one thing: his stuff was more important than his bumper sticker.
It is easy to stand in judgment of people who have more and better stuff than me. It would be easy to go on being critical of the person with the Jaguar. When I stand in judgment of others then I get a free pass.
If we are honest, greed is a problem for all of us. It is easier to think about that new flat-screen TV than to be concerned about the deaths of 26,000 children.
Saying the right thing, “Respect Life,” is always easier than to doing the right thing.
It was James, the brother of Jesus, who said, “Faith without deeds is dead.”