Today’s guest post comes from Tracy Kennedy, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between faith, vocation and work.
Imagine if Oprah aired a special show depicting a miracle pill that could produce the energy within one person to do that of thousands. And even more impressive is that the side effects of this pill were:
Sudden urges to SMILE.
Feelings of JOY.
Prolong states of PEACE.
A Persistent state of THANKSGIVING lasting over 4 hours or more.
I feel fairly confident that most people would be interested in learning more about this pill.
Imagine now if Oprah aired another special show depicting that she had discovered a way to produce the same results by reading a particular book. And the side effects were the same. The factor of “motive” behind the sweat of ones work could create a mystical synergy from which one person could produce the efficiency of thousands! I feel fairly confident that most people would join Oprah’s book club and give it a try as she is an affluent spokesperson whom many trust.
Now realize that such a book exist and comes even more highly recommended than Oprah! The book is titled, “The Bible”, Inspired author is God. Did you feel a bit of a let down reading this last sentence? Why is it that people today get excited and even feel a bit giddy with hope at the prospect of a new miracle drug or self-help book? I think it has to do with marketing the product. In the imagined scenario of Oprah, the focus is on the individual producing more, and the result is a self gratified one.
The work of Christians in the world is counter intuitive to the modern social norm self-gain. Christians are not focused on the individual but on others and the result is not self gratification but the betterment of others. This is a tough sell in todays market where narcissism is the undercurrent social norm disguised as self improvement. In marketing timing is everything. If this is true the time for marketing selflessness is not in the season of selfishness. Although this may seem disheartening at first for the Christian, the prognosis can be positive. With the growing popularity of self indulgence, acts of altruism are noticed more because of there sparsity. Novelty also sells!
Although this is a sad truth it is encouraging for the Christian who’s work in the world has an edge in novelty as compared to the openly broadcasted “me-ism.” I think media coverage on the work of Christians is key in the promotion of the hard sell of selflessness. Today sensationalism sells. The focus of Christian work in the world must always point to the“motive” behind the sweat of the media acclaimed sensationalism. In this way Christian work is realized as the mystical synergy from which one person is able to influence the multiples. This however can not happen without demand. The call of Christians today may very well lay in the demand for media coverage that is altruistic.