Be Compelling, Not Obnoxious

Ok, I have to share… I have a small pet peeve.

I cringe when I see things that are labeled “Christian”.

I’ll give you an example:

Over the Christmas holiday, my husband and I made the long drive back to Wisconsin to visit some of my family.  I usually busy myself with reading or writing while we’re driving but on this particular stretch of the trip I was just kicking back taking in the sites.  As I was reading billboards and studying vast stretches of farmland, I kept seeing signs for the “Christian Outlet Mall”.

Christian Outlet Mall?  What in the world is that?  I’m familiar with Christian bookstores full of Christian music, books and Precious Moments trinkets but how in the world is there enough product to fill an entire outlet mall?

I was so curious I actually wanted to stop and check this place out, but it was Christmas Day… no one is open on Christmas Day (I know because I ate popcorn and a V8 for lunch from the one gas station we could find open) and certainly not an entire mall that calls itself Christian.

For as much as I could deduce from the signs, I don’t think this Christian Outlet was full of Christian products.  I think it was just an outlet mall that was owned by Christians.

But here’s why that’s a pet peeve for me…

Why do we feel the need to proclaim we’re Christian through inanimate objects?

“Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

I don’t want to have to say that I’m a Christian, I want it to be obvious.  The fruits of the spirit are compelling… they’re distinct… they get attention.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are counter-cultural (Galatians 5:22-23).  If you are displaying those things people will want to be a part of what you are doing.  The evidence of fruit in your life will go much farther than putting a Christian bumper sticker on your car, the icthus on your advertising or the word Christian in your name.

Be the light and it will shine!

Ok, I’m off my soapbox now 🙂

You may also like

No comments

  • Leslie Black Galema January 25, 2012  

    yes! totally!  that and Christian Dance Dance Revolution and/or Christian Guitar Hero

  • Jonathan Malm January 25, 2012  

    Christian mints and Christian lawn bags really annoy me. Seriously?!

  • Aaron January 25, 2012  

    Totally agree. Have been challenged all week by the simple opening words from Ephesians 5:1 – “Be imitators of God”. 4 simple words that should remind me daily that it is in my life and how it’s lived that others will see Christ. Not because the shirt I wear, the songs I listen to, the books I read. 

  • turner_bethany January 25, 2012  

    Yes, you are so right! I hate when we put the “Christian” label infront of everything. 

  • Jenn January 25, 2012  

    Great soapbox! I especially cringe when we, as Christians, do something that is less than excellent… like MOVIES for example! Why do we feel like just because we are trying to share a great message we can get away with doing it less excellent?! 🙂

  • Carl Adams January 25, 2012  


    I wholeheartedly agree! Can’t stand the use of “Christian” everything , especially when it’s some shoddy product that’s low quality, poorly made and/or marketed – and all such products are usually pointless and seem like a marketing grab to get gullible Christians to spend money on their ‘redeemed’ offerings!

    Most egregious product I happened to see in a Family *Christian* Store this past fall – link below:

    Yes, folks – candy corn is clearly a tool of the enemy, guaranteed to rot teeth and possibly souls. So we now have “Harvest Seeds” – apparently this candy was blessed by the pope or has read “Purpose Driven Life” and is sanctified.  FINALLY, what we’ve all (not) been waiting for!

    Yummy…Holy…Christian-y!  What could be better?!