Yesterday I went to our local fancy shopping mall. I parked on the side closest to the store I was visiting, purchased the item I wanted, and was about to head back to my car… when I was stopped by the inner Voice:
I want you to return to your car the long way. Walk the other direction and loop around, and pray.
So I did. These are the things I saw and prayed about:
- It took effort to notice the people, because all the STUFF clamored for my attention.
- There were different kinds of people, and different groups of people. Each has their own story.
- Our stories are subtly but powerfully shaped by our culture, but culture is usually invisible, like air. How was the mall experience shaping each person there?
- The STUFF wants to convince me that I need this, or that, to have a good life. I must be beautiful, sexy, powerful and exciting. I must be successful.
- Tyler Durden is shouting in my ear, “You are not the contents of your wallet!” (But unlike Tyler, God says that I am unique and beautiful. So is that person over there.)
- Marketing of the STUFF seems to fall into the classic three temptations: money, sex and power. Which ultimately is about power.
- Is this why Jesus calls us to be weak? To subvert the dominant paradigm?
- The STUFF twists our relationships into transactions. What do I have to give you to get what I want?
- What is the “economy” of God? To give freely, with nothing expected in return?
- Servant evangelism then becomes not a marketing gimmick, but an essential demonstration of who God is—not just to those who receive, but also to those who give.
- So we can honestly say, “We are students of Jesus. We’re doing this assignment to learn that God’s love is free.”