I’m not an Apple freak but I know people who are. The kind of people who wait in line overnight just to get the latest iPhone. Apple freaks always have the latest iPad, iPhone, iTouch, iCar, iDog etc. One of my friends is basically a walking advertisement for Apple. He has a bus-load of their products and he attempts to convince you there is no real life outside of Apple. They really should pay him for all that promotion!
You might not be a walking billboard for Apple but you are advertising something. Think about the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the technology you use, the decor in your home – they are all advertisements. Each item advertises the company you bought them from. They also advertise a way of life or a status, don’t they. Every product, name, or company has a culture attached to it. That’s the way it works. They aren’t selling you a product anymore they are selling you an experience. Expensive things are valuable just as much for their quality as they are for their reputation. Why else would people spend so much unnecessary money on a pair of sunglasses?
Here’s what I’m getting at: every day you and I are advertising something or someone. We could be advertising a company or a way of life, or a status, or we could be advertising ourselves. Stop and think for a minute what you advertised with your words and actions last week. Did you advertise a blockbuster movie, a trendy fashion, or your favorite restaurant? Did you advertise Jesus?
Peter was a guy who knew all about the power of advertisement. He started as a fisherman advertising a business but ended up a follower of Jesus proclaiming a Savior. Peter became a guy that walked the walk and talked the talk when it came to Jesus. He didn’t shy away from persecution or prison. He made sure that Jesus was known no matter where he was or what he was doing. It was this passion that caused his plea to the early church two thousand years ago.
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” (I Peter 2:11-12 MSG)
If Christians are caught up in advertising this world how will unbelievers ever see the value of Jesus? Why was Peter so passionate about “advertising” Jesus? It was because He believed fully that the only thing of value to promote is eternal life in Jesus. Paul, another early church pastor, took it a step further and said that everything apart from Jesus was plain ‘ol crap.
Real life is what we desperately need. The tragedy is that we buy into the hundreds of products, pursuits, and people that will never give us life. Talking up your favorite sports team, your best friend or your personal victories isn’t evil, but it’s important to see the vanity. The wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon, had this to say after all his relentless search for significance, “All is vanity”. Nothing will ever be more valuable than a relationship with God.
Is it really worth it to spend so much time, effort and money on advertising the things of this world? We can’t get so comfortable down here that we forget we are citizens of up there. We can’t let ourselves be so distracted by the temporary that we miss the value of the eternal. We need to catch the passion and the urgency of Peter. We need to refocus on what is truly worth promoting.
What would it look like in your life to advertise Jesus? How would that change what you buy, do, say? Peter’s desire was that Christians live in such a way that their whole life pointed to God. Whether you want to admit it or not your life is a billboard for something. It’s pretty easy to notice in most people. We all know who the fanatic sports guy is. We can all point out who the fashion queen is. We know who is angry and bitter and we know who is loving and generous. What description would others give you based on how you act and what you say?
What is your life advertising?
All is vanity – except knowing and sharing Jesus. Only Jesus brings a true return on investment. Only He backs up his “product” guarantees forever. Everything else in this world will fade. Only Jesus lasts.
May we reorient our lives around what really matters. May we put our time and talents into sharing Jesus with others. May we use our life-influence to present eternal life. May we stop marketing ourselves and instead advertise Jesus.
PS I wear a pair of $5 sunglasses. 🙂