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Learning From the Story of the Two Salesmen

Many of you have probably heard of the story of the two salesmen who received the same promotion but viewed the opportunity very differently. I want to take a moment and retell the story and provide a practical application for our lives today. Please take a moment to read the story once again.

One afternoon the owner of a shoe company called in his highest selling employee to talk to him about an opportunity to open and run a brand new store. The salesman was extremely excited about the opportunity and quickly accepted the job, packed up his bags and headed for the new store. It wasn’t more than 2 hours from the time he arrived that his boss received a call from him letting him know that there was no way he wanted to stay and there was no way the company was going to make any money in this new location. The salesman explained to his boss that after looking around for a couple hours he realized nobody on the island wore shoes or socks. How could he possibly sell shoes to people when nobody wears them. The boss agreed to allow his employee to fly back home and return to his previous sales position.

The next day the boss called in a young man who was just getting started in the shoe selling business. He explained that there was an opportunity for him to move to a new store and run it himself. The young man happily accepted the job, packed his bags, and flew to the new location. In less then 2 hours from the time the young man arrived, the boss received a phone call from the young man and expected to hear the same thing. To his surprise the young man told him to send as many shoes as he could possibly spare. The boss was a little surprised and asked him why he needed so much. The young man explained to the boss that this place was a gold mine because no one wears shoes and he knew how excited the people would be to wear them once they learned about them.

As you look at this story and the two very different outlooks of the same situation I encourage you to ask yourself when it comes to sharing the gospel which salesman represents you. Are you the person that looks out at the world where you are living and think to yourself, “I’ll never be able to share the gospel with anyone here, no one seems to know much about God so why would they listen to me?” Or, are you like the young man and when you look at the people around you, you think to yourself, “Wow, what a great opportunity to share the gospel. No one hear seems to know anything about God or the benefits of becoming a Christian. Everyone is going to want to hear what I have to say.” It really is a matter of attitude. It is my prayer that we all look for the opportunity to share God’s Word and not create barriers ourselves that may not even be there.

Remember how Christ viewed those who were sinners.

Mt 9:10-13 “10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’[b] For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”


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