“Love…It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru”
Recently, my son needed to buy a new car. He wanted something he could take off the beaten path to do some camping and maybe go where other vehicles could not. He set his sights on a Toyota 4Runner but found it outside of his budget. I asked if he ever checked into a Subaru Outback. He did some research on the Subaru Outback and Forrester. He really did his homework and eventually bought a brand new, 2016 Subaru Forrester. He loves it!
Subaru is second to none in brand loyalty. Because of some amazing marketing campaigns, the Japanese based brand has doubled in size in the US over the last seven years. Then, Subaru was at a crossroads. They had small passionate fan base, but needed to stand for something with broad appeal. They knew buying a car was an emotional decision. So, they took the emotional approach. Subaru fans told them which emotion it should be. LOVE! Though out the car buying process my son told me how well he was treated by the Subaru dealership. They were knowable, engaging and answered all of his questions about the vehicle and financing.
Because of his purchase of a new Forrester, I have been more sensitive to the brand and the advertising. Their commercials have always resonated with me. It’s not just slick advertising; its smart advertising. Telling stories of real people in various stages of their lives. The Subaru was part of it all. It’s after seeing yet another of their well-done commercials, this idea came to me:
“Love…It’s what makes a Christian a Christian”
This was my original title for this blog. However, I kept the Subaru slogan at the top in hopes that people would actually read more.
Chances are, if you’re like a lot of people you threw up in your mouth a bit at my original title. Sad but true, Christians aren’t known for their love. Don’t believe me, pose the question, like my pastor did on a Sunday morning to his own congregation. I was broken hearted as I heard the words from our own people on how they believe the world views “Christians;” judgmental; condemning, intolerant, narrow minded were just some of the ones I can remember. Maybe it’s just a western thing, or maybe it’s just a United States thing, but Christians are not known for their extraordinary love for the world or even other Christians! I heard it said some time ago, “a lot of people aren’t Christians because they’ve met one.”
Back to the Basics
At one point during his three years of ministry on this earth Jesus found himself teaching and was approached by members of a religious sect known as the Sadducees. Being religious Jews and knowing the law, they posed this question asking Jesus “what is the greatest commandment?”
This was his response:
This is the most important: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself; no commandment is greater than these.”
Loving others is one of the predominant themes throughout the New Testament. The apostle Paul calls it an “outstanding debt” that is never paid. It’s what Jesus taught, and how he lived. He simply loved others. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, preached a kingdom of love, but ultimately gave his life for us….in love! (John 3:16) As a society, we have laws because we don’t love.
To be honest, I don’t call myself a Christian anymore. I prefer to be known as a “follower of Jesus.” I’m sure some reading this are like “really?” Isn’t one in the same? Nope! A lot of Christians I have encountered over the years proclaim the name of Jesus with their lips but deny him by the way they live. More than likely you’ve encountered people like this as well. No love; no compassion, no display of His character at all. Writing this, holds me personally accountable for the way I treat and ultimately love other people….my neighbors. It’s an amazing realization and responsibility and one I don’t take lightly. I try to live it more often than not. I won’t go into detail on how these changes came about but the biggest was realizing that life isn’t about me. It’s about loving and serving others; it’s about building relationships that ultimately change lives; it’s about giving and not always receiving.
My challenge today is this; whether you call yourself a Christian, a Jesus follower or whether you don’t believe in anything at all, can’t we love others better? Subaru realized that “love” is the most powerful of all emotions. How drastically could the world be changed if people loved as Jesus loved? What if, “love, it’s what makes a Christian and Christian,” was not just a slogan, but made believable by people who really lived it?
If you’d like to talk more in person, please send me a message at: