Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who/What Are You Advertising (w/ Some Football Talk for the Men)

I observed an interesting phenomenon today… My husband and I went grocery shopping this morning, and as usual, he was covered with cap and pullover for his favorite NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers! As we walked around the store, I watched as random men – complete strangers – approached him with exciting conversation about football.

“Hey man… we’re going to the Super Bowl! How about them Steelers!” Yes, random people that we’ve never seen before. One man even stopped us from shopping for at least five minutes to discuss how he was actually a Washington Redskins fan, but had so much respect for the Steelers.

Even after the numerous discussions on football, as we began to finish up shopping, my husband picked up a few bottles of his favorite soft drink – Dr. Pepper. No sooner than the first bottle hit the cart, I heard a voice say, “Are you sure you want to drink that poison?” As I looked to my left, there was the Pepsi delivery man with a smile on his face. My husband smiled back at him and started to explain that he used to work at Pepsi, so he had to stop drinking it. “It was overkill,” he said. They laughed and exchanged a few more words, smiled and walked away. Really? Willing to approach a complete stranger to compel him to drink Pepsi when most saints don’t have enough courage to share Christ with a stranger…

God began to speak to me right in the grocery store. No matter what we do on a daily basis, we are always advertising something or someone. What if the Church was as bold about standing for Christ as we are about representing our favorite sports teams, soft drinks or fashion designers?
Think about the place where you work… Your email bares your job title and the company name with every piece of correspondence you send. You may even have a computer bag, a bumper sticker, or a shirt that boldly proclaims your loyalty to the corporation to which you belong. When you answer the phone or even apply for a car loan, you proudly provide the name of your employer. Why? Because the people and things for which we advertise give us a sense of pride and purpose. We want others to know to whom and what we belong.

Think about it… Most people have more pride in wearing a pair of Nike or Jimmy Choo shoes than they do a pair of Mabelle’s or Skaters. Why? …Because no one recognizes Mabelle or Skater. It’s not a sign of sacrifice, therefore it is devalued. Even in the Greek letter organizations, which we know to be a trick of the enemy, people proudly wear the letters and colors for their fraternity or sorority, knowing good and well they know nothing about ancient Greece, much less about the Greek language. Yet, they have pride in it, because it required sacrifice on their part.

So, what about Jesus? Have we sacrificed enough for the sake of the Gospel to wear it with pride? What if we wore His name on hats and jerseys? What if we dared to place his name on the credit applications as a reference or a provider?

One thing I’ve NEVER seen is a man back down on a conversation about his favorite NFL team. Even if they have a losing season, when a stranger approaches and makes a comment about the hat or sweater, they are quick to defend the team to whom they are loyal. They will laugh and joke, but show no embarrassment about who they endorse. They will spend hundreds of dollars on jerseys and hats and proclaim, “There’s always next year!” with the highest level of confidence.

Just a little something to think about… Our lifestyles always reflect Christ if we are truly serving Him. So, how bold are we to talk about Him? How willing are we to share the Gospel, whether others agree on our choice of allegiance or not? How much money are we willing to spend to visibly represent Him and the Body of Christ? Are you willing to spend $200 for a jersey or $30 for a hat, but struggle to support the local church with more than $20? We won’t even mention the cost of season tickets… Our pride rests where our sacrifices have been planted.

When you walk out the door of your home, what’s the first thing people will notice about you? Will they know first that you’re a Steelers or Cowboys fan? Will they recognize first that you are fan of Versace, Gucci or Coash? Will they see that you pledged as a Delta or a Sigma? Will they notice whether you vote Democratic or Republican? Or will they first see that you are Kingdom citizen? Even after the first impression, are you confident in backing up your Savior with the “touch talk,” or do you back down and concede when the conversation gets difficult?


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