Recently at the ‘morning gathering’ of coffee drinkers at Fitch’s store, Dwight, a local farmer and friend, offered an interesting observation. Commenting on an empty flower display in front of the store, he said, “It’s hard to sell from an empty wagon.” In the explanation that followed, he told about a picture that hung in the hallway of an older building where he had done business. The picture was of a forlorn and dejected fellow looking into the empty bed of a peddler’s wagon. Beneath the picture was the caption, “It’s hard to sell from an empty wagon.” The point being that you can’t sell what you don’t have.
The principle espoused in the caption has broad application across many areas of life. It certainly applies to the retail business, but it also pertains to Christianity. In the Book of Acts (1:8), Jesus charged His followers with the responsibility of being His witnesses. He promised that they would have the ‘power’ to be His witnesses through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. A short time later His promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled (Acts 2:4). From that day to this, Spirit-filled believers have been able to effectively share the gospel message.
In the spiritual world, the empty wagon principle is a truism. You cannot share what you do not have. If ministers, who are not Spirit-filled, attempt to influence people to follow Christ and join the church, they will be ineffective at best and may even be detrimental. When church members endeavor to influence family and friends to receive Christ as Savior and are not themselves ‘born again’ believers, they may do more damage than good. You just can’t sell from an empty wagon.
Hear the wisdom of Solomon on the matter, “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain” (Proverbs 25:14). The Apostle Peter says of such people, “These are wells without water…” (2 Peter 2:17).
Prayer: Lord, let us share our faith in Christ from a full heart. “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45, NIV).
~ Brother Roy