Make it plain

Date: Thursday, November 7

ScriptureHabakkuk 2:1-5

Verse: Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. (Habakkuk 2:2)

I often see signs on the road with too much detail on them. The print is so small, and we are traveling so fast down the road the sign is near, there is not enough time to read the whole thing. In trying to share everything, the sign maker actually winds up telling us nothing. Good sign makers rely on images, logos, and just a few words to get their message across.

Like a bad sign maker, many churches generate mission/vision/purpose statements that try to do too much. Although consisting of pages saying so much, they end up saying almost nothing at all. A simple, straightforward vision is much better. The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, one of the largest in our denomination with more ministries than we could dream of at this point, has a very simple purpose statement: “To build a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.” That’s what they are about in every aspect of their life together, and every member knows it.

God gives Habakkuk a similar message: keep it simple. The vision of God is not to be mired down in details. It is to be simple and to the point. So simple that when posted on a sign, someone running by can read it. Maybe today we would say it should fit on a business card, a T-shirt, or a bumper sticker. I have seen a pretty good representation of the Gospel on a bumper sticker. It simply read:

Love God Love People Bumper Sticker e1326251465463

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

Sometimes we make things very complicated, and in the midst of it say little. We say so much more when we keep it simple.

Prayer: May my witness to those around me be easy to see and remember, O God. Amen.

Action: In the days ahead, take note of the signs you see when driving. Evaluate the most and least effective ones.

Respond: What sign have you noticed that gives so much detail it is unreadable? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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