— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Aug. 6, 2005.
This little prayer spoke volumes to me this week.
The bumper sticker said, ‘smile if you love Jesus.’
So I smiled all day long,
And everybody I met thought I worked for the IRS.
The bumper sticker said, ‘honk if you love Jesus.’
So I honked and got arrested
For disturbing the peace in a hospital zone.
The bumper sticker said, ‘wave if you love Jesus.’
So I waved — with both hands —
And lost control of the car
And crashed into a Baptist bus.
If I cannot smile — or honk — or wave,
How will Jesus know I love Him?
Know Jesus. Live like Him. Walk with Him. Rest in Him.
Make Him the spoke in the wheel of your life,
Letting everything you do radiate from His example and His love.
Then, Jesus will know you love Him.
And so will everyone else.”
Several times this week, I’ve found myself engaged in those discussions about the difference between “talking the talk and walking the walk.”
Several other believers from different denominations and I all came to the same conclusion. We all seem to spend far more time talking about our beliefs and about our faith than actually living it out day by day, moment by moment.
We listen to TV preachers and to the sermons from our own pulpits. We take copious notes on those sermons, underline Scriptures and write reminders on Post-Its.
Then we forget.
The first time something doesn’t go our way, we become petty and speak harshly.
The minute someone else steps on our turf — especially at church — we get angry.
Someone a little odd steps in among us and we shrink back and withhold genuine love.
Because we want something easier — like displaying a bumper sticker, wearing a cross around our necks or flashing some other symbol that keeps us from having to step forward and do something Christlike.
I think the poem is about the difference between religion and relationship. We can all practice a set of rules and regulations, but it’s much harder to live in a relationship with God that sets parameters on how we speak, how we listen and how we act.
Walking in a relationship with God means stopping and evaluating situations all day long. We have to engage our minds and our hearts in deciding whether He would be pleased with a certain attitude or action.
Bumper stickers are much easier.
But relationship is far more fulfilling. When we focus on the Lord and set our minds and hearts on the goal of pleasing Him in whatever we do, that is the ultimate way of expressing our love for Him.
Bumper stickers are just too easy.