I went to the grocery store yesterday to buy a tube of toothpaste. I don’t go to the grocery store much. I don’t believe in it. Going, not grocery stores. Actually, I just say that because I don’t like going and usually leave it up to my wonderful wife in accordance with our verbal contract that I will make the money if she promises to spend it.
Anyway, when I arrived at the dental care products aisle I was paralyzed by the number of choices. There must have been at least thirty different types of toothpaste. There was cool mint, whitening formula, sensitive teeth, anti-plaque and various combinations thereof. I found myself comparing the relative strengths of each one and even trying to determine which box looked better, which is a stupid reason for choosing toothpaste. It would have been easier if they had just offered me 2 choices. It would have taken me no time at all to make a decision.
As I’ve become a more experienced trial lawyer, I’ve noticed I don’t give my clients as much information or as many choices as I used to, and I think I’m a better lawyer for it. I think my clients like it better too. After all, I went to law school for three years and have been practicing law for twenty years. They trust I’m in a better position to know which strategies to use, procedures to employ and arguments to make to get the case to the point where I can present them with a decision they can understand. It’s usually a decision like, “Should we accept what they are offering to settle or not?”
That got me to thinking about how God deals with us. He doesn’t give us a buffet of Jesus’ from which to choose. He doesn’t ask, “Do you want the Jesus who is your friend but not Lord, or the Jesus who will bless you with riches and never refine your character by trials?”
We don’t have 30 brands of Jesus from which to choose. I suppose God could have created a universe in which we could choose a Jesus with different options, but He didn’t. It’s a yes or no proposition. Jesus said, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). Jesus can’t be your friend and not be your Lord because that’s not who He is, and if that’s the Jesus you know, you don’t really know Jesus. Jesus made it real simple. He said, “Believe…in Me.” (John 14:1).