Ads Reflect our Culture's Values

This morning I did something I usually don't do - purchase and then read the local morning paper. The reason I did so was to read the paper's coverage of yesterday's primary election. As I read through the paper, something struck me about the ads featured on page 2 of the paper's front section. Of the six ads found there, two dealt with ways to keep your skin looking young, one encouraged breast augmentation, another offered a chair side whitening of one's teeth, a fifth announced a big sale on furs and leathers and the last was an ad offering to buy houses and investment properties for fast cash.

Think with me of these ads. What do they tell us about the values of our culture? The first five I mentioned all have to do with outward appearance - one's skin, body shape, clothing. Our culture values appearance. Look young. Be shapely. Dress sharply. That's what these ads are telling us! But this over emphasis on external appearance is contrary to what God tells us, isn't it? In 1 Samuel we read about God sending Samuel the prophet to the home of a man named Jesse. Once there, Samuel was to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be the next king of Israel (for God had rejected King Saul for his spirit of pride and arrogance). When Samuel saw Eliab, Jesse's oldest son he thought that he was the one God wanted him to anoint to be the next king. After all, he was the first born (important in that culture) and he apparently had all the physical attributes of a king. But God said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). I fear that many of us have been influenced by our culture's emphasis on a person's external appearance. If we would spend as much time tending to our hearts as we do buying our wardrobes, working out at the gym or putting on makeup - I think we would have a lot more to offer God and others! Give it some thought.

Thanks for listening,


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