Open Rebuke

>Sell You

by Tony Creech on Monday, June 15, 2009


Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

Funny. Me, of all people, a salesman.

If there is one thing I’ve been trying in my life NOT to do, it’s SELL.

Trying NOT to SELL Jesus

Trying NOT to SELL myself to girls.

Trying NOT to SELL myself to employers and friends, churches, etc.

Trying NOT to SELL briercrest.

I’ve thought that generally they were things that shouldn’t ever be sold.

The last thing I’d want to do is to SELL Jesus to someone, like I was selling Pest Control. And I’d hate to SELL myself to some chick, like I was a new iPod she should consider. I’d rather just be me and have her fall in love. (I know I know, maybe that’s not working out…hahha. It’s ok, I sold myself for years like a used car salesman, and I’ll never go back)

But now, Selling is what God is asking me to do. (not girls, I mean like, for my job)

So let’s get on with it.

Is selling wrong? Convincing wrong?

Here is the first lesson God has humbled me on and opened my eyes about.

We are always selling something.

Let me explain. – it might be better to say that we are always COMMUNICATING something, and giving other people an opinion on it.

Some of it is out of our control. Some of it IS in our control.

What if I’ve been subconsciously selling myself to others as something I’m not?

I sell myself to MYSELF. I’ll say dumb crap like “you’ll never make it”, which is selling a lie. And yet I feel like I’m trying to convince myself when I do the positive “you ARE gonna make it”. The sad thing is, I’ll let myself do the negative, and I won’t even realize I’m selling myself some dumb lie.

Does that make sense?

I’ll let myself look like an idiot, and sell myself shorter than I should.

That’s not humility, thats coping out, and its not the TRUTH, but some negative attitude lie I’m buying into.

Why do I not suspect the negative, like I suspect the positive?

People try to sell me on the idea that I’m good “you’re great”

And I think “you’re only saying that”

But if they sell me on my own demise “you suck”

I think “oh man they are right, I suck”

And so goes the selling of negative messages, and our fast purchase of them from others and, mostly, from ourselves.

Can it be so wrong to sell good messages, especially true ones?

“sell” can be such a BAD word. I know. That’s how I used it to start off this thing.

To say that they are trying to SELL you something seems to imply dishonesty, or slyness. It also seems to imply that the thing being sold is cheap and people don’t just want it, so they must be sold it.

People who follow Jesus don’t want Jesus to come across as some odd cheap thing being sold at the kiosks in the middle of the Mall. Those people look down on the Jesus’ Folk with the tracks on the street corners and signs on the sidewalks and dance groups all selling Jesus like he was a new edition of the News for that day- worse, a give away offer, not even sold- like some crappy coupons people stick in your mailbox and you hate having to throw away.

The Jesus’ Folk that do the track-type stuff see it not as sharing Jesus himself so much as sharing a message about him, like journalists spreading the news that the Axis Powers had finally been defeated in World War II. They don’t understand why People who Follow Jesus don’t just jot down the message and slap it on the windshields of cars that are parked in the mall parking lot.

Is that even worse than selling Jesus? He’s a coupon?

But when they don’t use tracks, they are saying something about what they think the gospel is, they are selling it, only a different way. Like the idea that when two people talk they are always selling ideas to each other, or trying to.

When a salesman comes to your door, you are trying to sell to him the reasons that you can’t buy it, while he is selling you the reason why you should. Both are selling.

In a sense, you’re selling yourself on ideas all day long. The question that is most important remains- are you selling yourself lies, or truth? Are you feeding yourself negative generalities that are unhelpful, pessimistic, short-sighted guesses about the future, which all happen to be based on deep unresolved fears?

Don’t blame God or fate or the person to your right. Take responsibility for the hilarious things you try to sell yourself .

Tony Creech
anthony thomas creech is Founder of Citadel Magazine. He's a marketing executive, filmmaker, screenwriter, columnist, and university lecturer on film, audio, media, and faith. You can find him at
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