By now, most of you have heard of the "Starbucks Red Cup" outcry. In case you haven't Starbucks has decided that it will no longer have decorative art on their Christmas cups and instead only have a two toned red cup. So, Starbucks must hate Jesus, right? Let's not jump to conclusions. Whether they do or don't is irrelevant and here's why.
If Christians Put This Much Effort Into Reaching The Lost, We Might Actually Reach People
Today, the popular thing among Christians seems to be focusing on what other people are doing rather than what we should be doing. Take this recent outcry for example: It is more popular to complain about the color of a cup and "trick" employees into writing "Merry Christmas" on the cups than it is to show the love of Christ and tell someone about Jesus. Tell me, which one better fits Christ's teachings?
It's so easy to walk into Starbucks, order a cup of good, but expensive cup of coffee and say, "My name is Merry Christmas" (even though that sounds really weird and silly). Everyone can do easy. After all, everyone seems to be doing it. You might even get 100 likes on Instagram. But is that going to actually help reach the lost?
Evangelizing, that's hard. Imagine if Christians put as much effort in reaching the lost as they are in rushing to the nearest Starbucks to order a cup of coffee under the pseudonym "Merry Christmas"--we could change the world. Imagine the passion the world would see. Imagine if we showed the world an overwhelming abundance of love and concern for their salvation. We are called to be lights to the world (Matthew 5:14). What we are not called to be or do is shine the light in everyone's faces screaming, "I'M A CHRISTIAN!" Just like no one likes when you shine a flashlight in their eyes (especially in a dark room), the world doesn't appreciate it either. Instead, we should shine to light up the darkness so they can still see to escape from the darkness. We shine by "walking in the way of love, just as as Christ loved us..." (Eph. 5:2).
We should care more about people's souls than red cups.
The "I'll Show You" Attitude Only Drives People Away
You could argue that Christians are seeing, for the first time in America, persecution (in a very limited way compared to most countries). This should not surprise us. Jesus himself told us we would face persecution when he said "Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you" (1 John 3:13).
Before I go any further, let me clarify something. The Starbucks red cup is NOT persecution. This is not an act of hostility or "ill treatment" toward anyone. We are not being thrown into prison, tortured or killed. We are not being spit upon. We not being refused service. Starbucks is practicing their right as a private business to do what they please. So let's make sure we understand the difference. When we say this is persecution we make a mockery of real life threatening persecution Christians around the world face everyday.
With that being said, we do need to face persecution with boldness. The "I'll Show You" attitude is anything but bold. It doesn't take courage to "get back" at someone who you believe was mean to you. In fact, it actually drives people away. When Christians respond in hate, out of anger, and in acts of "revenge" we are misrepresenting Christ. I've heard of Christian Starbucks workers who have said if they weren't already a Christian, they wouldn't want to become one now.
How did Christ win people's souls? How did Christ change people's lives? He didn't say, "I can't believe you did that, so I'll show you and do this, HA!" He spent time with them, had patience, showed them love, and served them. Remember, "the son of man came not to be served but to serve" (Mark 10:45). That's how you change lives. That's a movement worth starting. That's a movement worth supporting.
Don't stop growing and remember 1 Peter 2:21!
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