Look at the Label

I was in the midst of my usual routine this morning, feeding the cats, so that I can pour my first cup of coffee unassisted. I reached for the can of cat food, and said “whaddaya think guys, how does “Seaside Supper” sound for breakfast?” when my non-linear mind started thinking about what “Seaside Supper” would actually be in relation to cat food. Upon opening the can, I quickly decided that it was probably something like “ground up dead fish found on the beach at low tide” or some similar preparation that would be appetizing to cats and make me want to skip breakfast.

After the proper dispensing of this aromatic blend, I took a moment to look at the can and find a list of ingredients:

  • OCEANFISH

Apparently this is a new generic term for “the stuff that was in the nets that the humans won’t eat” or “I don’t know what kind of fish it is.”

  • POULTRY BY-PRODUCTS
  • MEAT BY-PRODUCTS

Say WHAT? Since when do we raise beef and chickens at the seaside?

  • TUNA
  • SALMON

Finally, a recognizable fish product! It’s about time! “Seaside Supper,” indeed! Then, I had a startling revelation and broke into prayer, saying “Lord, PLEASE help me, I’m beginning to sound like Andy Rooney!”

But, there is a point here. I’m one of probably 3 users of this product in the lifetime of the company who’s actually paid attention to what the label says. Most folks see a smiling kitty, the words “Seaside Supper,” and think “just the kind of smelly stuff they love.” But, when you start really looking at the label, it’s got a lot of stuff in there that doesn’t seem to be consistent with “Seaside Supper” at all. Things like “poultry byproducts” and “meat byproducts”—and we never really got down to the really obscure stuff.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we bear the label of “Christian.” Make no mistake about it—the people who you deal with every day can see that label, but they also can see the list of ingredients that’s tucked away on the back side of that label. What would we expect to see in a list of “ingredients” for a Christian, one who follows after Jesus Christ?

Here are a few thoughts that come to mind:

Justice, buffered by Mercy Fairness Integrity Unconditional love Honest, Upright business dealings Strength with Gentleness Compassion

What do people read when they look at your label?

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