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Why I Don’t Have a Fish on My Car

{This post may contain affiliate links (links for items which you may purchase) for which I might receive a small commission. Please see my disclosure page for more information}

{This post may contain affiliate links (links for items which you may purchase) for which I might receive a small commission. Please see my disclosure page for more information}

Fish SymbolYou see them on vehicles everywhere.  That cute Christian fish symbol.  Two simple curved lines that tradition says helped persecuted believers identify each other.  When meeting a person on the road, one Christian would draw a simple arc in the sand.  The other Christian would recognize the meaning of the arc and draw the mirror image of it, completing the fish.  While history also tells us that the fish probably had pagan beginnings, that isn’t why I do not have one on my own vehicle.

I like the fish symbol.  I really do.  When I see it on an advertisement, or on a business card, it gives me a warm feeling, knowing that the business purports to be owned/run by Christians important link.  When I see the symbol (or some other Christian mark) on someone else’s vehicle, I smile, knowing a fellow brother or sister in Christ is near. I have actually almost-purchased one for my own vehicle on more than one occasion.  Right when I am ready to take the item from the display and move it to the cash register area, I hesitate.  I rethink the purchase.  I put it back.

My reluctance has nothing to do with the meaning of the icon.  My reluctance has everything to do with my own human weakness.  You see, when I encounter people in my day to day travels, it is likely that I will never cross their path again.  My fear is that I will do something silly, even stupid, while driving.  Driving too slow, too fast, accidentally cutting someone off, or even just not using a turn signal when I should.  I imagine myself doing this silly thing, them getting irritated with me, and then at the last moment noticing the fish symbol.  “Oh, they are a Christian!” they might think.  “They sure don’t act like one!”  Or worse, “Sure they say they are Christian, but they are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.”

There it is, my big fear is that I will cause shame on the name of Christians, and ultimately, Christ, by my own failings as a driver.  I often find myself scrutinized by some who know me.  Waiting for me to misbehave.  I can handle that because I will likely have the opportunity to apologize.  To right the wrong.  But if I am driving, and my misdeed is witnessed by someone who will never see me again, I have no chance to fix it.  No chance to show them that we Christians are mere humans who strive to listen to the Holy Spirit and do what pleases God, but fail daily.  I dread that.  Forever leaving a bad taste in someone’s mouth for my fellow Christians, and for my Christ.

Is it cowardly not to proclaim the name of Jesus on my minivan?  I’m not sure.  What do YOU think?

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