Yesterday, I decided to walk around the mall I work in, and explore.
As I work on the top floor in one of the professional spaces, I don’t see many of the other businesses, beyond the food court & the stores I pass on the set route I take to catch my bus.
On my walkabout, I was struck dumb by a way larger than life ad from a company I usually have found to not be provocative or rude in their imaging and marketing.
The slogan was brilliant, the image was offensive.
It has rankled within me since I inverted my eyes in the mall, and kept walking by.
Last night, I decided to look up the company’s website to find contact info, and was confronted with the same ad on the home page. Again, shocked but this time not unexpected.
What do you do when you are confronted with something that offends you, or is counter to your beliefs?
1. Turn your eyes away from it. As soon as possible, avert your gaze. It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and as His Kids, we want the spark to set the fire of pursing Him aflame, nothing inappropriate to distract us from our pursuit!
2. If you see it along a route you take, try to avoid it. Take an alternative path, or purposefully read or chat with a friend and keep your eyes fixed somewhere else. Don’t let someone else’s muck cause you to stumble.
3. Complain. Speak up. I tweeted my disappointment to the company respectfully, and informed them of my intention not to return until the ad is down… My voice matters when it impacts sales, period.
If evil is its source, God calls us to align with Him, and use our voice to point out the truth, no matter what it is.
4. Take your business, and/or presence, elsewhere. Don’t support businesses or buy products that cross the line.
I am a fairly loyal shopper, and I like to support local businesses and companies that reflect excellence, quality and are respectful to their customers.
5. Pray for them. Pray for the companies to listen to those who are bothered by their actions, ads or decisions. Pray for the models or actors who take roles that do not represent them as a whole person.
6. Keep your eyes fixed on Him, keep His Words in your heart & mind. Stay grounded in His truth and goodness, His holiness and love which will last forever vs the temporary thrills trying to trick you into thinking they are in the right. Allow Him to shield you.
7. Decide on a personal or family ‘code’…Let me give you a few examples:
Don’t go to the movie theater without thoroughly checking out the movie you are going to see through a reputable godly reviewer. Have a three strike rule and you are willing to walk out (we do this with dvds too). I have left a theater twice over the years and never had a problem getting a refund when I was offended by content. I also don’t mind missing the first few minutes of a movie if it means I miss the previews, which are the only wildcards left if you did your homework. We recently saw a movie that I didn’t check out through our usual wise reviewer as we impulsively headed to the show, and the last five minutes of the movie ruined it for us with unnecessary smut.
A few years ago, we decided as a family to do away with our cable/satellite TV, as we were constantly turning the channel to avoid a risqué commercial or TV show. I was also tired of spending money on preset programming bundles when we only follow about a dozen shows a year.
Instead, we purchase DVDs (Downtown Abbey!) or episodes online. We no longer watch commercials, spend less time and money watching TV, and are not seeing images we would rather not enter our home or minds. The only time we have really missed it? Major sporting events, but we have family & friends who don’t mind inviting us over to watch the games together.
Filtering what we allow in is not only up to us…
Most importantly #8: In all things, seek to honor Him first. My general rule of thumb: if God would likely take part if He was with me, then it passes. As He is always with me, I need to listen to His prompts and leading over the cultural clamor’s sometimes sloppy seconds.
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.
9. Break off the impact of that glimpse.
By seeing something that God didn’t intend for us to see, we need to repent, and ask Him to cleanse us from its negative impact.
10. Ask Him to help you stay the course, every day.
We don’t try to be holy because we want to be holy. We become holy when we allow God’s holiness to permeate us from the inside out. Only then will what bugs His heart bother ours.
Keeping yourself from seeing what we know was not intended for us to see is honoring the One who died to separate us from the world. As citizens of heaven, we are to live under His authority & guidance, as He wants the best for us as we live here!
As lights in the world, may we all speak up where we can when evil tries to lure us to the dark side.
Because we know light wins in the end, and we should want that for everyone we encounter, every day.