The Power of Advertising
Advertizing in America dictates when we decorate for Christmas, what foods we serve at Easter dinner, and what defines an acceptable St. Valentine's Day present. If "all kisses begin with Kay Jewelers," then does the poor husband get no kisses? If using Crest toothpaste will get us the gorgeous girl or guy, then should we even think about another brand?
New products entice us through their promotional ads. Suddenly, we need something that to this point, we didn't even know existed.
How Advertising Works
Advertising appeals to our fleshly desires. It often will link a product to a universally desired thing. We all want to get married and live happily ever after to the perfect mate, so a product will be shown as one that will bring success in the "meeting the perfect member of the opposite sex" department. All people want to be loved and admired, so shoes or clothing appears in an ad as a sure-fire way to garnish admiring glances from everyone in your life.
Most advertisements are geared to a certain segment of society and placed where that group of people are most likely to see them. Life insurance and stock brokerages ads can be found in financial or news magazines, often read by upper middle class business men and women. Athletic ware and gear are advertised in sports magazines so that athletes will be sure to see them. Snack food and drinks are advertised during sporting events because families are sitting around snacking and watching the game.
Men are attracted to beautiful women, so ads geared to men will plant a lovely girl in a strategic location, usually wearing very little clothing. This not only appeals to the flesh, but often stirs up lust.
How Jesus Responds to Advertising
First, Satan offered bread. Jesus told him that Jesus preferred to live by God's Word, rather than Satan's bread. Second, Satan twisted Scripture, asking Jesus to throw Himself down and let the angels catch Him. Jesus refused. Christ would not put God to the test. Finally, Satan offered Jesus power and wealth. Christ had already laid these things aside. Did He miss them? Did He need them? No! Jesus needed only to submit to the perfect will of God.
"Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.' Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him," (Matthew 4:10-11 NIV).
Responding to an Ad
We can imitate Jesus in the way we respond to advertising. He combated lies with the truth. When our flesh says, "I've just got to buy that new ...... (fill in with whatever you are tempted to buy....computer, dress, car, motorcycle, power tool, pair of shoes, or cruise tickets)," respond with truth. "My computer is doing everything I need right now." "My car is running fine." "I already have 123 pairs of shoes."
It is not wrong to buy new things, but don't fall into the trap of letting advertising dictate what and when you will purchase items. Seek the Lord. Tell Him what you need and want. Give Him time to provide in any way He chooses. When it is His timing, let the purchase be because you know it's God's will, a good bargain, and something you can afford to pay with cash.
Stand strong and resist the temptation of advertising.
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)