“The Gospel and the Tyranny of Consumerism”Categories: Christian Attitudes, Sunday Family Report Articles, The Church
When your job is to make a sale, your success is measured on the standard of the consumer. If the consumer doesn’t buy, you didn’t succeed. Thus, a salesman is dependent upon the perception of his consumer. And so whether by warping a perspective on its positive points, overlooking or downplaying its inevitable disappointments, or by simply changing the product, the sale must be made.
As believers, it is not our job to sell the gospel. Our job is to share the gospel. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy told the Thessalonians they were “ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves.” (1 Thess. 2:8) It is simply not our job to make the gospel appealing by warping people’s perspective on its positive points, overlooking or downplaying its inevitable difficulties, or by simply trying to change the gospel. The reality is that we do not have to make a sale to be successful.
It is every Christian’s job to share the gospel—to simply speak the truth about it and let it make its own appeal to our hearers’ hearts. It is both a simple & complex message based on a compelling story of God & his people. It is a message with the power to change lives and save lives. And it doesn’t need us to infuse it with that power; it just needs to us share it with those who do not yet know it.
This means we do not have to be dependent on the consumer for success. We do not have to “make sales” to validate our efforts in the sight of God. Under this tyranny of desperation for validation, approval, or a sale, all of us have a tendency to jettison the core elements of the original greatness—the true & pure essence of the central idea (in this case, the gospel).
But because we are simply trying to share the gospel, we can do so with the knowledge that “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:14). We must still share the gospel with everyone, but we can do so without a compulsion to change it, improve it, or find more clever ways of selling it. It’s God’s message to man; just share it.
- Dan Lankford, minister