Not quite sure why, but I have always enjoyed watching infomercials. I’ve never actually bought anything from one though. The other night two of them caught my attention. The first was Tony Robbins. Wow! I was convinced after watching it that buying his CD’s would instantly make me happier and help to realize my dreams. All I had to do was dial the 1-800 number and my life would be transformed! The next was Back 2 Life, a product that just about guaranteed my lower back pain would disappear. Best part about it is that all I had to do was sit back and let the machine do all the work. I spend lots of money regularly going to a chiropractor, so the thought that four easy payments of $39.99 could take away the pain was tempting.
The interesting thing about infomercials is that everybody looks so happy in them. The product being sold guarantees happiness, success, fulfillment and/or relief. The customer testimonials are so convincing too. We’re led to believe an illusion.
I think we often do the same with Jesus. We present Christianity like an infomercial promising happiness, success, fulfillment and relief. But that is an illusion. Or maybe it is just part of the story, not the full story. How do you explain an 18 year old kid who gets cancer and dies within a year of being diagnosed? I just experienced that. Knew Matt since he was a six year old. He loved God and life so much. So did his entire family. The list goes on. You most likely have your story. Following Jesus is messy. Life is messy. We don’t understand a lot of it. Nobody has it all together.
So, let’s be real with the preteens we lead. Let’s not sound like an informercial when we communicate to them. Let’s tell them that life is messy but there is a God we can trust who is in control.