Do You Have BS Faith?
One of the clearest examples of BS faith can be found in Judas Iscariot. You can use his story to help you spot your own bumper stickers. His story can be a sort of BS detector for you.
In John 12, a woman named Mary pours out an expensive jar of ointment on Jesus as a sublime act of worship. But Judas, one of the twelve closest followers of Jesus, took issue with her waste and scolded, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” No doubt the others in the room would have been impressed with Judas’s concern for the poor and his willingness to sacrifice so much money. Judas had them fooled, he probably even had himself fooled.
His bumper sticker read, ‘Big giver on board.’ That’s the BS he hid behind, but the next verse betrays his true intentions. “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.”
Here’s just one way to detect your bumper sticker faith: take a hard look at what you scold. Judas was annoyed by wasting money, so much so that he publicly criticized a fellow disciple’s actions; yet, he was stealing from the very purse that would be used for the poor! That’s how it goes with bumper stickers. We hide our true beliefs behind them.
What are you publicly passionate about? Where do you call people to the carpet? Do I smell BS?
We all have BS faith, to one degree or another. On the one hand, it’s impossible for you to see your own BS, because you’re so close to it. Your ego identity is wrapped up and invested in it. To peel it away would be like tearing off your own skin, it’s that painful to think about.
But our gracious God is in the business of helping us see our BS. One way he does it is through the stories in the Bible, like this one about Judas. Another way is through the people in our lives, who can see it much better than we can.
Consider what happened to Judas when he sold Jesus to the religious authorities for thirty pieces of silver. Did you notice the irony? At the precise moment Judas was given the thirty pieces of silver, he was supposed to remember what he said in John 12:5 about giving money to the poor. God was bringing his greedy sin out in the open, so that it would be undeniable to him.
Perhaps Judas finally noticed his sin, once it was brought out into the open in such a striking way. Maybe that’s why he despaired and hung himself, though he didn’t have to, for Jesus would have gladly forgiven him.
My point is that there may come a day when God brings your sin out into the open so it will be undeniable to you–so you can finally see it. Then you have a choice, to continue to hide behind your BS (and destroy your life) or allow God to rip it off.