Ever heard the phrase, “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? You have? Well, it is a famous saying though I don’t know from whom it originated. But actually, I’d rather not catch flies!
However, I am really interested in helping people connect with Jesus! Maybe you are, too. Ah, but what to use for “bait”?
Over the last 35 plus years I have tried many, many kinds of bait. I’ve used the “I’m holy, don’t touch me” approach. Guess what? I got my wish and nobody touched me. But they didn’t touch God either. Another kind of bait was “loading up my Gospel gun with the good news” and blasting the people to kingdom come. Yep, I blasted, they blew away, but not into the Kingdom of God.
Others have tried using petitions, though they’re hard to keep on the hook. Many have used placards and protests to let people know just how sinful they are, especially compared to the ones holding the signs. Once again, people scattered and all that was left to show for the effort were the “holy” and “indignant” folk. Nothing to show for the Kingdom; the only show was on earth.
If you’ve ever gone fishing, you will know that just telling the fish they’re hungry doesn’t work. Besides, the only fish that knows how to read is Charlie, the Tuna.
So, instead of approaching people from our high and lofty place, what if we tried something different? Now, don’t misunderstand me, please. I am as adamant about sharing Truth, God’s Word, as the next bible thumper. It’s the Word of God that causes new life to take place! What I’m trying to convey is something that could make a difference whether people take time to hear what we have to say. Really say.
If people will REALLY hear, we can REALLY say! And, if we REALLY care, they will REALLY hear!
So what if we did things like Jesus did? “What was that?”, I just heard you ask. He gave them chocolate chip cookies! WHAT???
Well, I suppose I could be exaggerating just a bit. But think about it…everywhere Jesus went, there would be tax collectors and other notorious sinners surrounding Him, wanting to hear what He had to say (Luke 15:1). A woman of Samaria, at Jacob’s well, heard something from Jesus that caused her to take a different course in life. What was it He had that connected with them? They could tell He valued them. How? By treating them like they mattered; He talked with them! With them, not at them!
He mixed sweetness and gentleness into the mix of truth. It didn’t compromise the truth, it made it palatable. To me, it’s like giving someone some excellent chocolate chip cookies. Speaking of excellent chocolate chip cookies, I have included the recipe for Mrs. Grace’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies at the end of this post. They have a way of opening and connecting hearts. You can make them for yourself, but the real power from above comes when you make them for someone else!
Romans 2:4 – “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (NLT)
Chocolate chip cookies. Sweet, soft, chewy, moist, chocolate chip cookies.
Of course, you may still want to use your placards, petitions, and protests; up to you. But are you wanting just to feel good and holy, or would you rather connect with someone in a way that could very well change their life?
Cookies work better than a thump across the head!
Mrs. Grace’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, melted, cooled slightly (but, not margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (12 ounces)
Mix ingredients in order given. Drop by teaspoonfuls (Mrs. Grace usually uses the smallest Pampered Chef scoop) on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 9-11 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown, because they will continue cooking a little while you wait to take them from the pan. (Mrs. Grace waits a minute or two to remove them from the pan). Also, if you have them to use, Mrs. Grace believes it’s better to use heavy aluminum baking sheets.