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'So? Can you paint?'
by John Fischer

I'm looking back at a quote I used last week about a Christian writer being a Christian who writes about anything, and remembering one of my favorite stories along those lines. It's about a lady I met at a PTA meeting who when she found out I was a Christian had asked if I could explain an incident she had experienced with a Christian that had puzzled her.

It seems a young man had stopped by her house soliciting house-painting jobs in the neighborhood. She asked for his card, and noticed the sign of a fish right under his name. When she inquired about that, the painter smiled and announced that he was a Christian painter. The woman said she was a bit puzzled by that, and after thinking about it for a minute or two, she had responded by asking a very obvious question: "So? Can you paint?"

Being a Christian painter might mean something to another Christian, but to anyone else--like this lady, for instance--it merely confuses the issue. All she wants to know is how well you can paint.

It occurs to me that this is the level at which we meet most people, and something we need to pay a good deal of attention to. Who we are, what we do, and how well do we do it are questions that are at least initially more important than our Christianity. Being a Christian something-or-other only means something if the something-or-other does. We need to pay attention to the whole of our life. This is when doing all to the glory of God makes sense. If you're a really exceptional painter, then the Christian label doesn't even need to be there. It will stand on the merit of who you are.

The Catch, 11/16/2009 by John Fischer.


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