If you watch any old movies from the 50’s or 60’s you will surely come across some that show a medicine show man peddling his goods. Those goods sometimes were called “Snake Oil,” “Sweet Aromatics,”and many other “miracle cures” for what’s ailing you . George C. Scott starred in a movie about one such man by the name of Mordecai Jones, in the film called The Flim Flam Man. He used his “cures” as a way to get in close to you so he could steal all your money. Of course, the film was comedic in nature, but haunting in reality, that someone would do a such a thing to anyone else. But it was surely based on reality.
Today our Flim Flam men come in different forms, like Publishers Clearinghouse, Debt Retirement Experts, Weight Loss Gurus, Free Ipads ( check your computer it’s there), and many others. What does all this stuff cause us to be? Suspicious!! Usually it only takes being burned one time to get your fill and then you will be more aware of these “flim flams.” For some it never ends. They are the welcome target of trusting people they don’t even know to help them through a major crisis over the telephone or computer. What happens is trust is thrown out the window and suspicion becomes the norm.
If you are like me, you have had the same thing happen to you when dealing with Christians, specifically in the church. Something will be said and never followed through with and little by little you start thinking, “something is missing here.” Then over a period of time you get suspicious and you start doubting whether any of it is real or trustworthy. It causes your faith to dwindle and then instead of serving God, you start trying to qualify everything you see and your faith becomes an empty shell. You’ve lost confidence. Wow, how did something so fresh and so exciting, like new life in Christ, become so dead and indifferent? You’ve let those who aren’t the right kind of peddlers adjust how you feel about those who are the right kind of peddlers. A bad experience from the past has drifted you away from the narrow path Christ put you on, and now your faith is not even vibrant and growing anymore. What do you do?
Confess to God your sin of distraction. Pray for a filling of the Holy Spirit. Search God’s Word for the answers for your steps ahead. Spend quality and quantity time with God in prayer. Get some advice from someone who is on the right track. Step out of the ditch!!
You may say, “But what about those wrong peddlers who are misrepresenting God?” Let God take care of them. You take care of yourself. Here’s two definitions of a peddler.
The Wrong One – A person who illegally sells goods with the intent of stealing more from that person.
The Right one – A person who promotes an idea widely, like following Jesus.
Listen to what Paul wrote about having confidence in the ministry to the church at Corinth. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 – But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
There will always be those who do wrong when it comes to representing Christ properly. I will do it wrong from time to time, but only as a mistake, not a lifestyle. I hope I will always peddle Christianity in the right way, from a sincere heart, not expecting anything in return. That is my desire. Your responsibility is to always make sure you are first of all, following Christ, and then living a sincere life of ministry to those around you. A life that has it’s power source centered in Christ and His Word. If that is the case, the goods you peddle will always have the “miracle cure” and the cure will last forever! REALLY!!!
The Pilgrimage continues….