I am not writing this because my Fantasy Football team was ranked 5th after outscoring all the other teams by over 50 points. I am not writing this because my NCAA football team did poorly this year – the Florida Gators are playing for the BCS National Championship. I am writing this because it is amazing how much commercialism has to do with every facet of life. With 64 of the 119 NCAA Div 1 football teams playing bowl games it makes you wonder two things. 1) Is there a brand that does not have a bowl game (MPC Computers, Papa John’s, Meineke Car Care Bowl, GMAC Bowl? 2) Does being in a bowl game still give a team a sense of pride about their season?
I would think money probably has something to do with the proliferation of bowl games as the sponsors are more and more willing to shell out the money in return for the HUGE advertisement these games provide – creating more bowl games.
If this were confined to sports I wouldn’t be concerned. Consumerism goes far beyond NCAA athletics. We even find it in our churches. I am constantly bombarded by church promotional materials and catchy ways to try to reach the lost. I don’t think that, in and of itself, is a bad thing. Often, however, the message is really devoid of Christ. It is devoid of sacrifice. In an effort to get the “quick sell” the major points of our faith are often left out. Consumerism is found even in our homes and results in barriers between parents and children. Consumerism in its worst form can change our thinking from helping others to helping self.
We find ourselves asking questions like: What’s in it for me? How can you fill my cup? Rather than: How can I serve? How can I sacrifice? What price can I pay?
What would the world look like if God had decided to be a consumer rather than a creator? What if He decided He needed the earth’s resources and started competing with us for them? I guess by the laws of supply and demand, the cost of goods would skyrocket. How would we do if God was a consumer? How long could we make it if God’s attitude changed from selflessness to selfishness? What if he was only in all this for “what’s in it for Him?” How would our world look?
Fortunately for us, that is not how God acts. God is selfless and we are all called to be selfless. He was not a consumer. He was a creator. Consumers don’t look for crosses. They look for fancy crowns. Consumers don’t desire the manger and livestock. They would prefer the Hilton and the animals to be on plates for lunch.
Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Let us remember the example of Jesus and never let the consumer driven culture that surrounds us fool us into putting self at the center of our attention.