I recently read an article about Sohan Singh who has banned customers from his grocery store in England. He told a London newspaper that he was forced to take such drastic action because of people’s bad manners. First, he banned smoking, then crude language, baby strollers, pets, and finally customers themselves. Shoppers now must look through the window to spot items they want and then ring a bell to be served through a small hatch in the door. “I have lost business, but I cannot say how much,” Singh said. “I am a man of principles, and I stand by my decision.”
While I can completely understand why, It seems to me that a grocer who bans customers from his store has lost sight of his purpose! If your aim is to sell groceries, then you must put up with some people whom you may dislike in order to achieve your purpose.
More troubling however is that just like that grocer, many Christians have forgotten their Savior’s purpose: to seek and to save those who are lost. Understandably we don’t like the sinful habits and worldly ways of the lost world around us If they want to come to our door and tell us what they want, we will serve them. Otherwise, let them shop elsewhere, forgetting that without the truth we have they are lost!
It is truly amazing how we watch Jesus go through so much and never lose his understanding of purpose. He states it in Luke 19:10, (Almost the theme verse of the Gospel of Luke:) “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus is stating this purpose in response to the crowd, which grumbled that He had gone to be the guest of a man who was a sinner, the chief tax collector, Zacchaeus. Jesus responded “Precisely! I am going to be the guest of a great sinner because I am bringing an even greater salvation, and so are we!