A few weeks back I wrote about how Madison Avenue is playing off of Paul Revere’s famous ride (Start Spreading the News?). This got me thinking about Madison Avenue more broadly and the overall purpose of marketing.
The main objective of any marketing, of course, is to convince us to buy their products. And one of the main methods advertisers employ is to try to convince us we are not good enough, we don’t have enough, and we aren’t significant enough.
The basic message is we deserve whatever they are selling and we will be happier if we buy their products. The result is an internal battle between what we need and what we want; between what we can afford and what we spend; between being content with what we have and constantly seeking more.
This is also the main strategy of Satan – to convince us we aren’t good enough, we don’t have enough and we aren’t significant enough. Satan’s main purpose is to deceive us into a lack of peace so we will buy what he is selling: Lust of the eyes (possessions), lust of the flesh (pleasure) and the pride of life (power).
Satan wants us to be at war with ourselves; a war between what is right and what is wrong; a war between selfishness and selflessness; a war between peace and discontentment.
So what exactly is peace? According to Webster’s the definition is: “Freedom from disquieting thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations; in a state of concord or tranquility.”
What is the source of peace? According to the Bible: John 14:26-27 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
How do we attain peace? Here is a something I recently read that is so good: “True peace comes as a gift from God to those who seek his will alone for their lives. It comes to those who give their lives in service to others, who are honest and humble, who care and trust. It comes to those who forgive.”
How do we know if we have peace? I believe there are three traits of person at peace.
- A thankful heart. Ephesians 5:20: “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” If we are thankful then we won’t be searching for what we don’t have.
- A lack of anxiousness. Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” By trusting Him we are given supernatural peace.
- Reaction to trials. James 1:2–4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” We trust Him because we know there is a greater purpose to our trials.
Lastly, if you are not at peace I would challenge you in three ways:
1. Are you spending enough time in prayer, in the word and in community?
2. Do you really believe that God only wants the best for your life? In other words do you trust Him?
3. Are you loving people by being selfless (humble), by serving, and by sharing the Good News?
Philippians 4:8–9: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
In His Service,