Have you ever had a piece of fruit that looked so delicious you could hardly wait to bite into it? Only, when you took a bite—and squeezed out the juice—it wasn’t very tasty. In fact, maybe it was sour or bitter? That can be very disappointing. The same is true when it comes to us as Christians, and the image we present to others when they “put the squeeze on us,” by trying to pressure or coerce us into doing something—usually something bad. Out of our mouths we may confess to be Christians, but sometimes our actions paint a much different picture. In Matthew 7:15, The Message, Jesus told His disciples: “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character.” When we profess to be Christians, our character—how we conduct ourselves—is one of the first things people see. If our actions and speech are no different than the way ungodly people react, then our profession is empty. Verse 15 says, “A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.” Ever heard the expression, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? It literally means it is much easier to get what you want by being polite rather than by being rude and insolent. As believers, what we want is to see people’s lives changed for the good as we share with them the saving message of Jesus Christ. Proverbs 16:24, New Living Translation, says, “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” What are people seeing when they squeeze you and try to influence you to do wrong? Are your words and actions kind and loving, or do you respond in a rude, negative manner? Live so that no matter if people try to put the squeeze on you all they will see is the sweet love of God.