Thursday, March 9, 2023

As Advertised

 My wife places a lot of credence on product reviews. When it comes to the opinions of others about herself, she couldn’t care less, but product reviews, those are indispensable. It doesn’t matter what she’s looking to buy. She goes to the reviews page of the item and reads through whether or not those who purchased it in the past were satisfied with their purchase, and if not, why not? She’s been doing it for so long that I don’t have the heart to tell her that a nail clipper is a nail clipper, whether it has five stars or three or that there are hordes of unscrupulous companies who buy reviews for their products. If you’re getting it for free or paid to review it, chances are you’re not going to knock the guys that just bought you lunch.

The unsavory and unscrupulous were so numerous at one point that the Better Business Bureau was created in order to combat them. If a company rips you off, you can give them a call, and they’ll place the company on a list, but as far as being made whole, that’s a bit more complicated.

As is the case with every pendulum swing, the unscrupulous on the consumer side started coming out of the woodwork as well, demanding free meals, free rooms, and free merchandise, threatening to leave blistering reviews on every website they could find if they didn’t get their way. The whole thing became so convoluted that for most people, reviews have become meaningless unless you’re getting one firsthand, face to face, from the person who either ate where you plan to eat or owns the nose hair clippers you’ve been eyeing.

Even then, their opinion is subjective at best because they might like their Mexican food to scorch the inner lining of their mouth, while one jalapeno seed will send you to the emergency room. If you, as an individual, take everything with a grain of salt and weigh the things people tell you, it would be duplicitous for you to expect everyone you come in contact with to believe everything you say outright. That’s not to say you shouldn’t speak. On the contrary, it is by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies that we overcome. One is exclusively a Jesus matter, namely the blood of the Lamb. The other is exclusively an us matter, namely the word of our testimony.

When you tell those you come in contact with that Jesus is as advertised, it undermines the enemy’s narrative. Some may not believe you, and some may have their doubts, but if, on a given day, ten people tell me the same thing, that tenth one just might get me to look into the matter for myself.

It’s even more compelling for those who knew you before Christ and what the power of His love transformed you into after surrendering at the foot of the cross. You can have all the doubts in the world about methodology, viability, or feasibility. Still, someone who was pushing half a ton shows up at your door, having lost a couple of hundred pounds, the evidence is undeniable.

We’re quick to tell anyone who would hear what the devil did to us. For some unexplained reason, however, some of us are reticent when it comes to telling others what Jesus did for us. There is power in the word of your testimony because it is the confirmation that the blood of Jesus isn’t just a placeholder or something interchangeable. The blood of the Lamb has the power to wash you clean of all your sin, and having been made clean, the word of your testimony confirms that present reality.

If He has freed you and brought you from death to life, why wouldn’t you shout His name from the rooftop? Why wouldn’t you glory in the name of Jesus? And while we’re on the topic, that’s how you can also gauge the authenticity of someone’s words. The word of their testimony isn’t about them. It’s not about their achievements, their accomplishments, their education, or the scope of their ministry. The word of their testimony is about Jesus and what He has done in their lives. It always goes back to Christ, the cross, repentance, sanctification, and the need for Him, rather than connecting with them, their ministry, or their vision.

But how will we build an international ministry and become the prophetesses to the nations if we don’t promote ourselves at every turn? What’s the point of interacting with the little people if there’s no ad funnel at the end of the fifteen minutes, with some sort of recurring commitment request to help spread the message of pet dinosaurs in heaven to the peoples of the earth?

I had to learn about all these schemes in order to actively avoid them in ministry. It always elicits a negative reaction when I see ministries and ministers employing them. There is nothing wrong in presenting a need when it comes to ministry. There is something very wrong with attempting to manipulate or guilt someone into parting with their cheddar. There’s a difference between saying this family needs a home; if the Lord leads, please help, and insisting that if you don’t dial that number right now, this family will die! The same goes for presenting the act of giving as some sort of pyramid scheme where you put in a fiver and get back fifty.

The reaction of the redeemed man, once he has been redeemed, is not a protracted treatise on why he was deserving of redemption but overwhelming gratitude for his redeemer. When you make it about Jesus, you have my attention and my respect. When you make it about you, you have my disdain because you are using Christ as a vehicle to further your agenda, not His kingdom.

Learn to be spiritually aware enough to discern between those who come in their name and those who come in the name of the Lord. It’s a good start and will save you much heartache in the long run.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Only Jesus can do the work in and, through his children.

I know, I tried hard to be righteous and, holy. I was so exhausted; crying out in prayer I said, "Lord, I can't do this!" His reply, " It's about time you figured that out. " He does the work! He gets all the Glory!

That was @ 20 years ago. He is faithful!