An Ugly Posture image

An Ugly Posture

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Sainsbury’s recently accidently put a poster designed to motivate their staff to get customers to spend 50p extra on each shop in their window.

It’s easy to laugh at their gaff.

And while none of us is surprised that Sainsbury’s want us to spend more… it’s offensive to see behind the curtain.

It reveals a manipulative posture.

It reveals a ‘behind the scenes’ we-just-want-your-money posture.

Which might be fair enough for a business, but it reflects a nasty view of humanity.

I used to work for a bank, and colleagues who had been working there for a generation lamented the loss of respect for the bank manager in the community because the bank had just become a profit chasing
organisation rather than being about serving people.

Inevitably, behind the scenes attitudes become front of stage attitudes.

You can’t disrespect someone in private for long before it shows in public.

Few of us are good at being bilingual and yet we’re often encouraged to do just that.

Service with a smile is easily disrespect thinly veiled.

The church can do exactly the same.

How often does language in church reflect an aggressive posture to our friends, our city and our world?

When we talk in military terms? (When our Saviour never fought against anyone)

When we talk in them and us terms? (When we’re all really the same)

I was deeply disturbed when I sat in a sales seminar (of the manipulative kind) that sounded like some evangelism seminars I’d been too.

How often does what we say in church reflect the assumption that this is a backstage meeting, despite the fact that our friends might (you’d hope!) be in the room?

How often do we encourage people to be bilingual by using language in supposedly private meetings that we all know would be offensive in conversation with a friend?

How often does our public communication sound a different note to the one we’d sound with a friend? And why is that ever ok?

There’s one gospel that’s for all people, not two different messages. When I tell, perpetuate, believe and behave like that’s not so it reflects a lack of love for people. And it tends to reflect that it is a long time since I invited a friend to church.

God doesn’t play double-speak or double-heartedness.  His posture isn’t ugly like mine. He comes and meets us where we are, with us, along side us.  He loves in private and in public.

When it comes to Jesus there’s no manipulation, just deep and painful motherly care (Galatians 4:19).

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