Friday, September 21, 2007


The symptoms:

We all (or at least I do!) sucker in to the power of advertising. Not only the blatant: 'Buy this!!' stuff, but just about anything that we see that we think might improve our status in life.

  • 'New & improved' (Did you ever notice, it is never new and inferior!).

  • 'All the taste and ½ the calories'.

  • 'The movie (or book, or whatever) everyone is watching (or reading, or whatever)'.

  • 'The hottest band since ______________'.

  • '__________ is the new black'. (By the way, did you know that 30 is the new 20? Kids used to be ready to move out, be established in their career, and be married by 20. now it's 30.)

This stuff is pretty much in your face, and you can at least make the effort to ignore the claims being made.

I think the more insidious stuff is the lifestyle, often totally unintended stuff. It could be specific advertising, or just something you notice as you walk down the sidewalk. Here's how it works:

  • You see someone who has a quality or characteristic you would like to have: status (rich), age (younger, of course!), hair (in my case just the presence of hair, but maybe color, or length, or texture, etc.), stature (taller, of course), body (skinnier, but with bulges in the right places), education, freedom (courage to wear that kind of outfit), or whatever. They seem to have something extra going for them, and you wish you had the same something.

  • You pick something about this person that seems to epitomize that illusive quality you wish you had. That cool kid who has it all together is wearing this totally cool G Unit hoodie. So... if I get a G Unit hoodie, I'll be as cool as I think he already is.

  • The young lady with perfect teeth, Barbie figure, and gorgeous hair is talking on a LG Chocolate flip phone. So... if I get one of those, my whole appearance, popularity and success will vastly improve.

  • The thriving productive CEO drives a Lexus. So...

  • The decisive lawyer is wearing Opium. So...

People who seem to be everything that you think you aren't—good looking, young, rich, famous, successful, etc.—drink Pepsi, chew Trident, wear clothes from the Gap, listen to music on their iPod, and eat out at Red Robin's. They brush their teeth with Crest, use Garnier hair products, and read Harry Potter.

Do you see how totally illogical that train of thinking is? As if talking on a particular brand of cell phone or wearing a particular brand of fragrance will make you better looking, smarter, or whatever.

The truth of the matter probably is that we buy house brands at Wal-Mart, wear vintage Value Village, and eat out at McDonalds.

The diagnosis:

We are trying to be something we aren't, forgetting that we are already exactly who God designed us to be. We would rather be fake, than genuine. God arranged my gene-pool. He knew before I was born what my body-type, balding tendencies and abilities would be—and He said it was good. Yes we can work on things, accentuate the positive, and make some improvements. But forget the obsessing already!

The prescription:

Take the following once a day, or more often in the case of an exceptionally difficult outbreak:

Psa 139:13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb.

Psa 139:14 I thank you, High God--you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration--what a creation!

Psa 139:15 You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Psa 139:16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

Psa 139:17 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I'll never comprehend them!

Psa 139:18 I couldn't even begin to count them—any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! (The Message)

The prognosis:

Complete recovery, with danger of a relapse if the prescription is allowed to run out.

No comments:


count web site traffic
Staples Coupon