Monday, January 01, 2007

Commercialism Overtaking Life

I am not writing this because my Fantasy Football team was ranked 5th after outscoring all the other teams by over 50 points. I am not writing this because my NCAA football team did poorly this year - the Florida Gators are playing for the BCS National Championship. I am writing this because it is amazing how much commercialism has to do with every facet of life. With 64 of the 119 NCAA Div 1 football teams playing bowl games it makes you wonder two things. 1) Is there a brand that does not have a bowl game (MPC Computers, Papa John's, Meineke Car Care Bowl, GMAC Bowl? 2) Does being in a bowl game still give a team a sense of pride about their season?

I would think money probably has something to do with the proliferation of bowl games as the sponsors are more and more willing to shell out the money in return for the HUGE advertisement these games provide - creating more bowl games.

If this were confined to sports I wouldn't be concerned. Consumerism goes far beyond NCAA athletics. We even find it in our churches. I am constantly bombarded by church promotional materials and catchy ways to try to reach the lost. I don't think that, in and of itself, is a bad thing. Often, however, the message is really devoid of Christ. It is devoid of sacrifice. In an effort to get the "quick sell" the major points of our faith are often left out. Consumerism is found even in our homes and results in barriers between parents and children. Consumerism in its worst form can change our thinking from helping others to helping self.

We find ourselves asking questions like: What's in it for me? How can you fill my cup? Rather than: How can I serve? How can I sacrifice? What price can I pay?

What would the world look like if God had decided to be a consumer rather than a creator? What if He decided He needed the earth's resources and started competing with us for them? I guess by the laws of supply and demand, the cost of goods would skyrocket. How would we do if God was a consumer? How long could we make it if God's attitude changed from selflessness to selfishness? What if he was only in all this for "what's in it for Him?" How would our world look?

Fortunately for us, that is not how God acts. God is selfless and we are all called to be selfless. He was not a consumer. He was a creator. Consumers don't look for crosses. They look for fancy crowns. Consumers don't desire the manger and livestock. They would prefer the Hilton and the animals to be on plates for lunch.

Mark 10:45 - "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Let us remember the example of Jesus and never let the consumer driven culture that surrounds us fool us into putting self at the center of our attention.

11 comments:

Lisa said...

As always, you make a really good point & you make it well. A lot of our faults as humans can be traced back to selfishness. And, unfortunately, none of us are immune. Thanks for the reminder to work on that!

brian said...

great thoughts...keep it coming

Bob Bliss said...

Does this mean you won't be buying any of those auditorium chairs that I've started to sell? I hear that "seekers" just love them. I get a big commission on each one. :-)

Matt said...

If they are really nice chairs I might consider. They need to have the little rack underneath for a song book/bible and must be really cushy but not cushy enough to make someone fall asleep :)

Bob Bliss said...

i could sell you my 5 minute buzzer model. Every 5 minutes a buzzer goes off causing vibration in the chair and waking up the sleepy member. Or I could sell you the sleep detector model. There is a sensor in the back portion that detects forward head-tipping. When that occurs the chair vibrates just enough to wake up said sleepy-head.

Matt said...

A light electrical current might be a bit quieter than the vibrating chair. Just a thought. Remember, low amps.

Matt said...

Lisa, Sorry your comment didn't get put up. I messed up and turned comment moderation on and didn't mean to. I turned it off and your comment went bye bye.

Allan W. said...

Hey Matt, followed your comment from Jared L's blog on commercialism. Just wanted to say 'hey' to another HU grad (Allan White, BFA '94). God bless!

Lisa said...

That's all right, Matt. You probably just didn't want the world to know that I said you & Dad are silly. :p

Bob Bliss said...

An electrical current would save on noise but the vibration would be heard (and maybe felt) by others who would be warned not to fall asleep.

It's amazing that I can embarrass Lisa when I'm present and over the Internet. Dads rule (and sometimes drool).

Lisa said...

Let's not touch the drooling, okay, Dad? Now THAT's embarrassing.

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