(Originally posted in March 2012. Enjoy!)
It’s a form of fraud. A store offers a great item at a great price, but when you show up, that product is gone and you’re shown something “just as good” but at a higher price.
If you recognize the scam, you turn on your heels and leave empty handed.
There’s a spiritual version of bait and switch, too. And most people buy it hook, line, and sinker.
Here’s how it works:
You’re trying to change a longstanding habit and realize you need a higher power in order to do it. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection reveal He is more than willing to give Himself to you.
Jesus giving Himself to you? That’s a great deal! There’s the bait. (And in this case, it’s not a scam, He’s really offering.)
And here comes the switch.
Someone replaces the original offer: You bring your old destructive habits, Jesus gives you Himself.
With this one: You bring your old destructive habits, you get a list of godly things to do.
Pray, memorize Scripture, tithe, go to church, fast, serve, attend recovery groups, get accountability, read this book, listen to that sermon series, have more faith.
There is nothing wrong with these. (In fact, I try to practice them all.) But recognize this: They are not God.
If you’re going to find freedom from something you’re habitually doing, it’s not going to come primarily by something you do.
Don’t fall for the scam.
Instead, look Jesus in the face and say “Yes” to the deal He’s offering. As many times as you need to. When you think you deserve Him most and especially when you deserve Him least. He’s here, giving Himself to you.
I’d love to hear from you! What helps you recognize and avoid the bait and switch? What helps you say yes to God? Leave a comment below.