Prologue: Before I dive into this, I would like to state that I am convinced that I do not have the gift of making and interpreting analogies. My wife, on the other hand, has this grand way of building a format to get something through my thick skull with the most simplistic portrait. I love listening as she delivers a message of love and correction in a way my foolish mind can understand.
Throughout my experiences of living and learning from the Lord, my time has been more like Peter, a full foot in mouth, saying things that seem weird at the moment. Even as I write this, I begin to grow timid, knowing that my wife will have to hold a magnifying glass to my grammar since I have yet to comprehend the basic structure of a sentence. Knowing this, I do not go into it blindly, arrogantly, or even foolishly, assuming the Lord will gift someone with the ears to interpret my words. But I indeed know that it’s my call to love Him and those around me, so how could I not want to share my thoughts?
I share this not in hopes that you think I’m coming to share some grand opinion as if I have something to educate you on, but when I see something in front of me, I’m eager to pass it on, desiring that we all would learn from one another as we seek to magnify Christ.
All that being said, let’s get to the punchline: What do car horns and Christians have in common?
Parallel: Although they may seem like an unlikely pairing, there is a surprising similarity between the two: they both warn. Car horns are used to alert others of potential danger or to signal a warning. Similarly, Christians are called to be a light in the world and to warn others of the consequences of sin and the need for repentance. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven..”
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to become distracted and lose focus on what really matters. We can get so caught up in our daily routines and responsibilities that we forget about the bigger picture. Just like a car horn can jolt us out of our complacency and remind us to pay attention to our surroundings, Christians are called to wake up those around us and remind them of the need for spiritual awareness.
As followers of Christ, we have been entrusted with the responsibility of spreading the good news of the gospel. Jesus himself gave us the Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). This is not a suggestion, but a command. We are called to be the voice of warning in a world that desperately needs to hear the truth.
But how do we go about warning others? It’s important to remember that our message should always be rooted in love. We are not called to judge the world, as they know not at what they stumble Proverbs 4:19, but to share the hope that we have found in Christ. As it says in 1 Peter 3:15, we should always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks us for the reason for the hope that we have.
Perception: When warning others of the wrath to come, it is important for Christians to do so in a way that is loving and compassionate. Honking the horn too quickly or too aggressively can cause people to tune out the message, or worse, reject it altogether.
One way to avoid honking the horn too quickly is to build relationships with people first. By getting to know someone and building trust, you can share the message of the gospel in a way that is more likely to be received. This can involve listening to people’s stories and struggles, showing empathy and understanding, and genuinely caring for their well-being. When asking them questions about their circumstance or just allowing them to speak, often bridges the gap that started out between you two, allowing it to be a conversation instead of a potential skull-crashing session.
Another way to avoid honking the horn too quickly is to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. The Holy Spirit knows the hearts and minds of those we are trying to reach and can guide us in how to share the message in a way that is most effective. By praying for guidance and being open to the Holy Spirit’s leading, we can share the message in a way that is tailored to the needs of the listener.
Finally, it is important to remember that ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts and converts people. Our role is to plant seeds and water them, but it is God who brings about the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). We must trust in God’s timing and sovereignty, and not become discouraged if people do not immediately respond to the message.
One way to effectively warn others is through our actions. Our lives should be a reflection of the love and grace of God. We should strive to live a life that is worthy of our calling and to be an example of Christ to those around us. When others see the joy and peace that comes from a relationship with God, they may be more open to hearing the message of warning.
Another way to warn others is through our words. We should be intentional about sharing the gospel with those who do not know Christ. This can be done through personal conversations, sharing our testimony, or even through social media. We should be bold in our message, but always remember to speak the truth in the situation, not reading a script. Paul tells us, inspired by God to say we “ought to know how to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6
Pattern: In the Bible, there are many examples of people warning others of impending danger. Noah warned the people of his time about the coming flood, Jonah warned the people of Nineveh of God’s wrath, and Jesus warned his disciples of the coming persecution. In each of these situations, the warning was given out of love and concern for the people who were in danger.
As Christians, we are called to warn others of the dangers of sin and the consequences of rejecting God’s offer of salvation. This can be uncomfortable and even unpopular, but it is an essential part of our calling. Just as a car horn may be annoying at the moment, it can save lives by alerting people to danger. Our warnings, too, may be unpopular, but they can save souls by alerting people to the spiritual danger they face.
Peroration: The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 4:2 to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” We must be ready to warn others of the dangers they face, even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular. We must do so with patience and love, just as a car horn is not intended to harm but to protect.
Joel 2:1 – “Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near”
Isaiah 58:1 – “Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins.”
Jeremiah 6:17 – “I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’