The average American views about 8,000 advertisements per day. That’s an extreme amount of stimulation saying that you need more than you are and more than you have.
The most repeated message heard from birth to the grave is designed to convince you that will never have friends, be sexy, or find success without purchasing something. This consumerism is breeding new forms of depression affecting the young and the old alike.
My pastor is training his children to fight the onslaught. After each commercial they say in unison, “Who are you kidding?” That’s one method.
I chose to mute commercials when my kids were living at home. It just became a habit and we never noticed until one day a friend said, “You guys watch a lot of muted TV.” Yes, the TV was on mute more than sound because commercials rule the airways.
Now, I simply don’t watch network TV. After living without a TV for eight years, I found I can’t stomach the commercials. So we only watch movies or reruns on Netflix.
You see, I need the discipline. I didn’t watch much TV as a child but my father believed his duty was to highlight my every flaw. It’s taken a lifetime to realize they weren’t real flaws after all.
I assume that’s why I cried the other night watching a rerun from season one of Cheers. Coach’s daughter introduces everyone to her fiancé. Roy is the ultimate jerk so Sam convinces Coach to tell Lisa the truth.
A few minutes later in Sam’s office, Lisa agrees with her dad, “Look Daddy, I’m not dumb. I know Roy’s abrasive. I know he’s insensitive. And I know he’s probably only marrying me so he can get the Pennsylvania territory.”
Her bewildered father can only ask, “Why would you want to marry a man like this?” He is further confused when she says that Roy’s the only man who has proposed and she’s afraid he will be the last. This daddy just can’t understand because he knows his daughter. “But you’re so beautiful.”
Here’s where the tears start to roll off my face.
Lisa responds, “Beautiful? Daddy, you’ve been saying I’m beautiful ever since I was a very little girl. But look at me! Not as my father, but like you’re looking at me for the first time. But please, try to see me as I really am.”
Coach moves closer and stares intently. “Oh, my God. I didn’t realize how much you look like your mother.”
“I know. I look exactly like her. And Mom was not….” Lisa struggles to say the words and my heart is pounding. Coach waits anxiously, then Lisa smiles, “comfortable about her beauty.”
I choked. I can’t imagine being comfortable about me. What is it to be content? But read on, there’s more.
“She was really beautiful?” Lisa’s still not convinced.
“Yes and so are you. You’re the most beautiful kid in the whole world.”
Now, right there are the words every child needs to hear from their parents and in their home. With those words a kid can face the world and all its painful lies. A more confident Lisa ended the engagement and went for ice cream with her daddy. No matter the age, she needs constant reassurance of her worth. Her daddy’s job is never finished.
I can do my part to avoid the lies but I still need to hear the truth on a daily basis. There’s a truth in God’s Word that propels me forward. This story tells it best.
An artist was asked how he sculpts an eagle from a slab of stone. While the hammer and chisel delicately works, he replies, “When I look at this marble I see only eagle. I simply chip away at everything that is not eagle.”
I need to remember, when God the Father looks at his children (that’s me) He sees only His beloved Jesus.