Have you ever seen a commercial and thought, “what?” “What does that have to do with anything related to the product?” Seriously, there are some commercials I watched and felt it caused a loss of brain cells!
And for every one of those that are perplexing, are there ones that you laughed at hysterically? Or moved you to tears?
Our family favorites are the Progressive commercials. Flo, the Motaur (half-man/half-motorcycle) and Dr. Rick (helping you not become your parents). They have little to do with insurance, but they have captivated our attention with their wit and humor!
Commercials are created to stir an emotion and compel us to action. Of course, most often that action is to purchase a product or a service. Some commercials provoke us to step up to plate and make a difference through giving or volunteering to fight for a cause.
Billions of dollars annually are pumped into commercials, advertisements, billboards and mailers with the goal of obtaining new clients, subscribers, investors or advocates. Time and resources are given to the communication and psychology behind the messaging.
A few days ago we were watching a countdown of the top 20 Super Bowl commercials of all time. I have to admit there are some hilarious ones on that list.
Somewhere between the giggle and tears I began to wonder about the commercial of my life, and what it conveys or inspires.
Have you ever thought about your life like this?
Our lives intersect, we interrupt the regularly scheduled programming of another person’s world, and we share our lives with them. Our encounters are similar to commercials. Sometimes there’s laughter, sometimes tears, and sometimes you walk away thinking, “what in the world just happened.”
I am not by any stretch of the imagination claiming that we should put on some sort of production for those we meet and greet. I am, however, proposing that we become more aware of the advertisement our life is airing.
So this thought begs the question, “If our life is a commercial what is it that we are advertising?”
In Sunday school class unison we say, “Jesus”!
Yes. That’s right. Jesus.
Every encounter is an opportunity to communicate who we are and what we care about. But most importantly, it is an opportunity to let the light of Christ living in us radiate, displaying the marvelous person of Jesus!
Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
As the sons and daughters of God, our lives are meant to communicate Jesus. We are meant to walk in love. And not unlike a commercial, our lives can cause confusion, give clarity, stir to action, evoke joy, express love and compel tears of compassion.
As commercials, our lives can be a representation of who Jesus is, what he stands for: forgiveness, hope, joy, love, peace, grace, long suffering, steadfastness, empathy, compassion, humility and on and on. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Seems like a lot to fit into a commercial, doesn’t it? Ha! But the good news is we don’t have to invest billions of dollars to create a twenty-second commercial. We have the opportunity to do life with people. To invest in them, as Christ invests in us.
We have the opportunity to let each interaction demonstrate a piece of God’s character at work in us. We get to present Jesus to the world! We can be the masterpiece and the workmanship of God to display God’s character.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
So, what do your character, personality and passions (God’s handiwork) communicate about God to the world?
What gifts do you have that the world needs? Careful. If you are tempted to say, “uh-well, I don’t know.” or “I don’t really have any gifts”, think again. It’s God’s handiwork you’re talking about!
Genesis 5:1-2 says, “In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.”
If we are indeed made in the image of God then we are gifted with character, personality and passions to show off who God is. Each of us represents a unique blend of God’s character. A unique blend of his qualities.
Sometimes we allow these gifts to be buried over. We allow the circumstances we have walked through to cause our greatest self to be hidden under a bushel, when we are called to let our light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:16)
Our reflection staring back at us in the mirror has been made hazy and we can no longer see the man or woman we believed we were. The troubles of this life are many. The troubles of this life, can bring us to our knees or bring resentment- a turning away from God.
James 1:23-24 says, “If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like.”
Over time, tragedies and ups & downs of life we can forget. We can forget from whence we came. We can forget that what we are to represent in the world, our commercial, should be pointing others to Jesus Christ.
All of these things are choices. We can choose to humble ourselves or be humbled. We can choose to press into God or walk away. We can choose to let our light shine or hide our light away. We can choose to extend a hand of forgiveness, or wait for another to make amends. We can live in hope or live in doubt.
We choose to be a representative of God to the world, or a representative of self.
How we choose to represent God in our commercials – well it’s up to us. What the commercial of our life portrays of God can cause those seeking to draw closer, or to prove what they already believed about Christians – we are just hypocritical imposters. Put on a “holier than thou” face but have no resemblance to God himself.
Of course, this is a harsh misrepresentation of the triune God.
Oh church, would we choose to live our lives as representatives of the love, peace, compassion, grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Nothing more and nothing less than all that HE is. May the world come to know him because they have seen Him, touched Him, experienced Him through us.
May the commercials of our lives as we interact with the world draw others to desire, to hunger, to long to know what’s different about us, who is different in us, our Jesus.