You have probably heard the story about the stuttering Bible salesman who led his company in sales with the pitch: “W-w-would you like to b-b-b-buy a B-B-B-Bible, or w-w-w-would you like m-m-m-me to r-r-read it to you?”
While we laugh at a story such as this because of the comedic value of the situation, this account illustrates to me a flaw that can sometimes enter our lives as we try to reach others with the Gospel. Sometimes, we become guilty of being religion salesmen. In other words, we approach people wanting to talk to them about what we believe about the Bible instead of trying to encourage them to read what the Bible says.
We sometimes begin Bible discussions with statements such as, “we believe,” or “let me tell you how I see that.” In doing so, we often tell people what we believe the Bible says instead of reading what God actually said. Many a Bible conversation (even among preachers) has gone everywhere in discussing the Word, but has never actually stopped and read the Word.
We need to be sure that we do not become Bible salesmen; those who are only interested in shopping what we already believe about the Bible. Instead, let us be those who are willing to replace endless Bible discussions that go nowhere with good, solid Bible studies that actually take the time to consider what God said, not what we think he said or wanted him to say.
Would you like to read the Bible, or would you like me to tell you what I think it says?