Branded

Everywhere you look the gods of today dance before your eyes to distract and draw you in; much like the male Growling Bird featured on the ‘Birds of Paradise’ in BBC’s documentary of the Planet Earth.  This rare bird found in the far Eastern islands of the planet has the ability to absorb over 99% of the light in its outer feathers while its vibrant blue chest puts on a spectacle to attract a female counterpart.  It is truly fascinating to watch.

Now imagine that plea for attention magnified into 5,000 different ways.  Seems far fetched, but that is, on average how many advertisements a single person is exposed to in a day.  Sure, your brain doesn’t have the ability to process and remember that many, but it does subliminally retain about 20 ads per day.  If you were to pause and think, I bet you could rattle off at least 10 name brands without even trying.  The following name brands spent more than any other on advertising to gain your following in 2017.

Disney, Fiat, L’Oreal, American Express, Procter and Gamble, Ford and GM

Recently I’ve been reading through the Old Testament, working my way from Joshua to Esther. Even though the text was written thousands of years ago, the same struggles still present themselves today.

“They [people of Israel] worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.” – 2 Kings 17:16b

Upon reading this, I stopped dead in my tracks realizing I am possibly guilty of this as well.  Reading through Kings and Chronicles this is a major theme that repeats itself in Israel and Judah.  Worshiping the host of heaven and serving Baal.  It has been a struggle to honestly re-evaluate which god I truly do serve.  At the end of the day, your god is the one you choose to spend time with or resources on.

‘Your god is the one you choose to spend time with or resources on.’

Now don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad thing to focus on work when you are at work and it far from sinful to spend quality time with your family.  Those two usually consume most of our time and rightfully so.

“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man” Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

I’m talking about buying into the lifestyle a brand offers, or the anger that comes with missing a sports game or TV show.  When we attach emotions to objects or entertainment we allow a door to be opened that could lead to a new ‘god’ being served.

God’s beautiful design for us will bring us much more joy than any brand, sport or earthly possession.  Buying into worldly things and making them the object of our time, money and desires will eventually darken the light within us. Just like our Growling bird illustration, false gods have the ability to absorb light and darken our minds.

“But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:23-24

The further I distance myself from the affection of worldly logos, brands and ideals, the closer I find myself in a richer relationship with the One who created it all.

I really could go on and on with this topic but I will leave you with one last idea… If all of these brands boast that you will find more love, or more peace, or more security, or more joy in your life, why not choose the only ‘brand’ that not only offers all of these things, but promises them in abundance to you? We really are all searching for more ‘fruits of the Spirit’, but not always turning to the only One that can fulfill it.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Donald Porter

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