Valerie Horton

Spiritual Matters: No hiding belief in word of God

GLOSSY magazines do it best. Half and even full-page ads, resplendent with brilliant full-colour shots of desirable properties for sale.

I flicked through some of these in a copy of the free (and very glossy) Canberra Weekly over a gourmet chicken and leek pie (scrumptious) and a cup of tea this week. In truth, I really did little more than scan them quickly. I was searching for those words and phrases that betray the fact that, though desirable, the vendors and agents are embarrassed to reveal the price.

You know what I mean: Auction; EOI (expressions of interest); offers invited, (are they serious?); contact the agent for price!

Clearly, unless money is no object - and that rules out most of us I think - a lack of transparency in the area of the asking price is a sure indication that the property or object for sale is at the top rung of the price spectrum. Pretty well out of reach - or just pie-in-the-sky, wishful thinking. Or is this just me? How many of us will pass a car parked beside the road with a For Sale sign on it and just keep going if there's no price stipulated. We may well be in the market for a car just like that one, or know someone who is, but a phone number just doesn't cut the ice. If the seller's not prepared to name their price, we'll likely not bother to stop and investigate.

Still on the subject of cars, the dealer who adds POA (price on application) to his ad stands no chance with me. I have no wish to expose myself to the possibility of a hard-sell just to find out how much the dealer has in mind for the car.

Most of us value honesty and transparency in our dealings with others. We don't have time for games in which real issues and costs are hidden and can only be discovered when we become vulnerable.

Which brings me neatly to the subject matter of this column. Christians have not always been very good at communicating how vital it is to develop and grow a spiritual relationship with God.

As a tool of hostile dismissal, antagonists love to label these well-meaning, but sometimes insensitive followers of Christ, bible-bashers.

And, sadly, it's often true that enthusiastic Christians can show a lack of love and transparency when seeking to share their faith.

The price of allowing God to become the Lord of our lives in an apathetic and self-centred world is extremely high. It's a price that Jesus himself was prepared to pay - and a price that millions of his people have paid during the course of history.

So, let's call a spade a spade. It's tough getting the priceless message of the gospel through to people today, when in the western world it's not considered cool to follow the teachings of Jesus.

The cost is high and we should never hide that fact.

But, we do need to affirm the reality that nothing else even comes close to the joy and peace that characterise a life lived for God and others. Priceless!

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