As I travel around the world it is amazing how several common themes in advertising are conveyed in an attempt to push product and increase awareness. Foundational to many is the idea that this product will increase the attractiveness of one person to the opposite gender. Another theme is that one standing in society, especially with one’s peers, increases with the use or possession of a particular product. Happiness, satisfaction, and peace are also favorites. You know that life will significantly improve with the use of the product.
We say that we are smarter than the advertisements suggest. We choose one brand of toothpaste over another because we actually think it is a superior product or because it is the cheapest. The fact that we enjoyed one advertisement or that we quietly hope that we will be more compelling attractive to the special people in our lives has nothing to do with it! The longings of our heart more often mirror Madison Avenue than anything else. It is as if we cannot help ourselves.
The one difference with different cultures is that the scene is not necessarily one that you or I am familiar with. The nuances of the interaction between a couple or two friends is lost, however the premise of the scene is obvious. I often find myself smiling at the blatant falsehoods on display. The irony is that in my own backyard I enjoy the nuances and am often oblivious to the lies permeating my mind and heart.
As I look at God’s proposition there is a clear premise.
“The lives of God-loyal people flourish; a misspent life is soon bankrupt.” (Proverbs 15.6)
God appears to operate on a clear, no holds barred, no manipulation premise with his words. They are direct, simple, and powerful. It would seem that our efforts to make them otherwise only confuses and confounds our minds and others.
God’s way is all about the process of taking one step at a time. Take a hard look at the choices, examine your decisions. Your very life is at stake.