Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. —Matthew 12:30
What church are you going to attend this month? But before we get to that, did you know that there are 15 different types of Cheerios now?
In a California gourmet market, Professor Sheena Iyengar and her research team set up a booth with different samples of jams. Every few hours, they switched from offering a selection of 24 types of jam to one that had only 6 types of jam. On average, customers tasted two jams, regardless of the size of the assortment, and each one received a coupon good for $1 off one of the flavors. 60% of the customers in the store were drawn to the large assortment, while only 40% stopped by the small one. But here’s the interesting part—30% of the people who had sampled from the small assortment decided to buy jam, while only 3% of those confronted with the two dozen jams purchased a jar.
Her conclusions confirm what a number of researchers have discovered about us. Evidently, too many options trigger immobilization—we become hesitant to buy, so we just keep shopping. Jams, churches, whatever.
But options also trigger inflexibility. We’ve convinced ourselves that we do not have to put up with anything we do not specifically or completely approve of. If you want to be that way with your Jams and Cheerios, fine, but you can’t bring that same mentality to the body of Christ! Otherwise, you’ll be changing churches constantly, loving each one you try until something happens that’s not particularly in your lane—so you decide to leave once again to find something better, something “more for you.”
Christians could be defined both ways. We’re so easily immobilized—resistent to buy into the mission of Christ’s church, and we’re so incredibly inflexible—resistent to put up with anything we don’t completely like about some of His children.