by: Aimee Ford
Let’s play a little game! Here are some advertising slogans that are, or at one time were, very popular and tied to some very popular brands in our country. See if you can figure out what company used these popular slogans (answers at the bottom).
“The Happiest Place on Earth”
“Betcha Can’t Eat Just One”
“The Taste of a New Generation”
“Because You’re Worth It”
“Have it Your Way”
Did you figure them all out? My guess is you probably recognized at least one if not more of these slogans. We have a lot of intelligent people in the marketing business. Businesses want to promote their products in a way that appeals to consumers so they will buy their product and their company can continue to exist and turn a profit. Notice each of the different slogans listed above. Can you tell how they’re trying to appeal to their audience? Some promote happiness, others offer a challenge, and still others are trying to show they’re relevant to the up and coming generations. Did you notice how the last two slogans are trying to appeal to their audience? They are appealing to our desire to be at the center of our own universe.
In our culture, the customer is king. I can have it my way, because I’m worth it. And if I don’t like what you offer or how you offer it, then I will take my money and my business elsewhere. Our culture naturally encourages us to be selfish and to look out for #1.
It’s amazing to me how this mindset affects all different aspects of our life: family interactions, friendships, how we drive, and even expectations from the church and worship environments. This mindset of placing ourselves at the very center of our own little universe follows us wherever we go.
In Luke 19 we read the story of a man by the name of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a man who very much seemed to fall into this category. He was a wealthy tax-collector, which in those days was a sign of someone who has turned his back on his people by working for a foreign conquering power and taking their hard-earned income. This was a man whose heart had turned inward, and he was going to look out for “#1”.
Thankfully as Jesus was passing by, he called out to Zacchaeus, showed him love, and offered relationship. Jesus, the popular teacher whom the crowds had gathered to see, noticed Zacchaeus and decided to stay at his house. When Zacchaeus received this grace from Jesus, he responded, “Look, I’ll give half of my possessions to the poor, Lord. And if I have extorted anything from anyone, I’ll pay back four times as much” (Luke 19:8).
When Jesus extended his hand in relationship to Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus laid aside his selfishness and became selfless. He offered up his wealth – something that his selfishness had gained him, and decided to give it away to the poor and to those whom he had hurt.
As our lead pastor Todd mentioned last week, just like Jesus offered Zacchaeus a fresh start from selfishness. He offers us a fresh start as well. He extends his hand in relationship to us, and in response, we ought to strive for a life where we lay down our own selfish desires and pick up a life of selflessness. What would that kind of life look like for you?
Answers: Disney World, Lay’s, Pepsi, L’Oreal, Burger King