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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marketing 101: Reflections

     Just this morning I realized the difference in the reactions Young Sojourner had had to doing something wrong in the last two anecdotes. In “Life 101: Truth”, even at five years old, she knew it was wrong to tell the teacher it was her birthday every Sunday. She so wanted to blow out those candles that she was willing to take a chance. No doubt she figured that the worse thing that would happen was the embarrassment of admitting it wasn’t her birthday after all. Worth the risk. However, when confronted, Young Sojourner responded right away and resisted the temptation to try again.
     In “Marketing 101” Sojourner did not even know, for sure, that what she had done was wrong. Nevertheless, she immediately tried to confirm the truth of Tommy’s accusation.  Even though Sojourner had been unable to verify that she had broken any law, she did not just “wait and see.” She took action to correct her behavior without a second thought. Why? Jail! The consequences of doing wrong were exponentially greater if it meant that she might go to jail. Selling more Kool-Aid was not worth the possible punishment that could be meted out! The old benefit/risk equation, you know.
     I wonder if we don’t do that as adults, too? When we just want to do something that might be  a slight bit over the line but, well, we just want to do it so we consider the possible consequences if we get found out. Would the pain of the punishment be worse than the pleasure if we just “Go for it?” When someone questions an action we have taken that we had thought was okay, do we seek to find truth or do we just take a chance that no one else will notice? Maybe the person questioning us is wrong. And, more seriously still, we know that what we are doing is not what God would like us to do but we throw caution to the wind and “Just do It!” These two phrases have often assailed us in all kinds of commercial advertisements over the years. Even bumper stickers tell us to forget the rules and just “Go for it!” or “Just do it!” suggesting that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! If you want to do it, do it; you deserve the pleasure! But that is not what the Bible says. God’s laws are absolute and, since He never changes, the ethical and moral practices that were forbidden in the days of the early church are still forbidden by God today. There will be consequences for breaking God’s laws, though the shed blood of Jesus gives us a way to be forgiven of these breeches in God’s law. We need only to repent, change our ways and God’s word says that it is as though it never happened! What a comfort and relief. We don’t need to wonder if what we are doing is right or wrong now. Cultures and society may change over the decades and their acceptable standards change with the times; but, we need not wonder what God thinks about things in the year 2011. The Bible tells us plainly what God expects of us. I love that God’s laws and commandments do not change. It means that I can be expected to behave the same way no matter where in the world I am living and no matter what period of time I am living in! All of the doubt and uncertainties are eliminated. God never changes and neither do His laws! God understands our human weaknesses and because He is also a merciful God, He has made a way to make right what we have chosen to do wrong. The ball is in our court!

****Marketing 101: A Wrench in the Works… Coming Tomorrow

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