Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't let the car fool you...

I recently saw a bumper sticker on a really nice SUV that said "Don't let the car fool you, my treasure lies in heaven."

It bothered me and I'm not sure why.  Did it bother me because its a demonstration of false humility?  Did it bother me because its a cheesy bumper sticker on a luxury SUV?  Did it bother me because I'm tall and drive a small car and wish I drove a bigger car?  Yes.  I think all three are true.

My question is this, if you are willing to make it public that your treasure lies in heaven, then why are driving a really nice SUV?  I mean, why not drive a basic car to get you from point A to point B?  Wouldn't that be a better witness to what the bumper sticker is trying to communicate?

I like the bumper sticker that says "I like your Christ, but I don't like your Christians" better.  Its convicting and eye opening and challenges Christians to change that perception.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you!!!

Anonymous said...

I like the sticker and I am with the owner of the nice SUV. His just trying to say that even though you have a good life here on earth, don't let it get to your head because your real treasure is in heaven. I am looking for the same sticker to put on my convertible, to show that even though I have a nice car, I am not forgetting the bigger picture, that my treasure is waiting for me in heaven.

Rich Tuttle said...

It still communicates a false humility. Would that be your message to a homeless person or a child who dies of hunger: "I'm sorry you don't have anything, but your real treasure lies in heaven so even if you don't have food and die of starvation you'll be better off."

Didn't Jesus challenge a rich man who boasted about his righteousness?

Jim said...

Are you saying if the sticker was on a pile of junk it would be OK but not on an expensive car? If so, that would imply people who do not have money for a nice car can love God but those you do are too self righteous too. I’m pretty confident that is now what you mean to say.

So let’s look at this. God created all matter, including the matter that makes up this SUV and it is the sole property of God. Agreed? Since God is sovereign over all things at all times then it is by His grace alone that this person is able to drive Gods SUV. Agreed? With that there is no room for anyone to take pride in this SUV except to boast in the glory of God for allowing it to exist and be used by this person. If that is the drivers’ attitude I do not feel that this sticker displays the drivers pride or a false humility.

My first reaction to the sticker was what a nice way to make a public affirmation that the SUV is not more valued then her relationship with God. I thought what a great daily reminder to help keep it from becoming a false God to her. (I'm a car guy so I fall into that trap easily)

Now should a homeless person rejoice any less then you or I that by Gods grace the driver of this SUV has been given the use of the vehicle? Is God any less sovereign and in control of the homeless persons life then He is in the life of the SUV driver? It would only be by Gods will that there would be any direct benefit to the homeless person if the SUV owner drove a cheaper car. It is entirely possible that the owner needs such a large reliable vehicle for her ministry to homeless people.

Do you have any suggestions for a more appropriate sticker? What about I love my car but I love God more? Seriously I’d like to know. God has blessed me with the use of a nice car and I would be delighted to give Him the glory for it.

Thanks for listening Rick.

Rich Tuttle said...

Thanks for your comment. Good discussion.

Honestly, I don't think it matters if it's on a nice car or a crappy car. Have you heard of the phrase "perception is reality?" It basically means what people perceive as reality is what is real whether that perception is our intention or not.

There's a book by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons titled "UnChristian" that I would encourage you to read.

The book is based on a study done about how people outside of the church view people who call themselves Christian. Here's a website about it:

Two of the perceptions of Christians are that we are "Sheltered" and that we are "Hypocritical." Now I don't konw what the owners intent behind the bumber sticker is, but even as a Christian I see it and think of a Christian who is definitely sheltered and possibly hypocritical. How does someone who is not a Christian view it? I understand that it is only a perception, but like I said, "perception is reality" whether we like it or not.

You asked about a bumper sticker I like, I generally don't like bumber stickers, but how about "Not perfect, just forgiven" or "I like your Jesus not your Christians" or "Love Wins".

I like the phrase "We are blessed to be a blessing" but I would never put it on a bumper sticker because it could appear pompous...the message could come across as "I'm blessed and your not so I will bless you." Just because I don't put it on a bumper sticker doesn't mean I don't subscribe to it, I just think some messages take more than a bumper sticker to communicate.