Do you ever get frustrated with salesmen who come knocking on your door at the most inopportune times, peddling their latest offers?  I certainly do!

Some friends and I were chatting about this recently.  Well, maybe ‘having a rant’ would be more accurate – complete with finger wagging and arm waving, only just stopping short of a hearty ‘hear hear’!  Anyway, one friend described an experience she’d had with a film company, and it got me thinking….

Despite her lack of interest, the salesman was desperate for her to sign up.  She eventually argued that she and her husband didn’t really watch many films so it wouldn’t be worth it.  His answer to that?  An incredulous look and:  ‘What, you don’t watch any films?’

Doesn’t this remind you of an experience another woman once had?  Think back – quite far back – to Genesis 3 (Genesis 3:1-6 if you want a bit of homework) and how the serpent persuaded Eve to eat the fruit on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Now, tempting as it is, I’m not saying that door-to-door salespeople are the devil!  However, a couple of things did strike me hearing my friend’s story.

1)  Temptation is so easy to give in to!

I know, this is stating the obvious – we are fallen people living in a fallen world, and the devil uses every trick possible to tempt us.  My friend found herself arguing her way out of a hole because the salesman twisted her words back at her – just as the serpent misquoted God’s instruction to Adam and Eve.  The fall came not so much because they ate the fruit, but because they first entertained the serpent’s argument, listening to and reasoning with him.  It’s so easy to be enticed by clever arguments (a challenge for me and my big mouth, for sure!) – if you don’t want to get into trouble, don’t go near it in the first place!  My friend would have probably been much better off had she shut the door on him from the beginning.  James 4:7 says:  ‘…Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’

2)  Shoulda woulda coulda…

That’s all great in theory, but – not to repeat myself (well, okay, to blatantly repeat myself) – we are fallen people living in a fallen world.  Our lives are filled with daily ‘shoulda woulda couldas’.  BUT… we have grace!  Or, rather, God has freely given us grace, sending Jesus to die for us then raising Him up again.  So every time we mess up and go back to Him sorry and broken all over again, He forgives us.  Not only that – He sees us in the light of Jesus’ perfect holiness.  I reckon Isaac Watts had it pretty spot on – ‘amazing grace’ indeed!  (Check out 2 Corinthians 12:9 if you don’t believe me.…)

So what?  Well, it’s quite obvious, really.  If I’m a recipient of such amazing grace, surely I also have a responsibility?  I have a responsibility to share this grace:  by telling others about this amazing gift from God to everyone who will accept it, and by living it out myself.

 Put on, then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other….
Colossians 3:12-13

Now there’s a challenge if I ever heard one!

So the next time a salesman comes knocking on my door, I’ll probably get stroppy, shut the door in his face, regret my missed opportunity and be reminded, once again, of my need for grace…!

  Ceri Skinner