We are bombarded by words every day, and advertising in particular seeks to impress particular products on our consciousness through words and jingles (often known as ‘sticky music’ because of its simple melodies which stick in our minds – apparently we spend about 58 minutes a week humming or singing catchy commercial tunes, and it takes almost 17 minutes for us to stop humming or singing these tunes!)
The most popular commercial in the UK was apparently the advert for ‘Cornetto‘ ice-creams which put new words to a very famous aria!
Advertising is very successful in affecting what we think about; as Christians, we need to ensure that we are careful what we listen to and that we choose what we listen to and what we say and sing carefully, because words affect our thinking, and our thinking affects our behaviour.
Luke 8:48 speaks about God’s word as seed and the different effect this has, depending on the kind of soil the seed is received into. God’s word is powerful and cleansing (Eph 5:25-26, Heb 1:3); His words have authority (Luke 4:32) and shed light on our lives (Ps 119:130). When Jesus spoke, things happened! – demons were cast out, people were healed and the wind and waves were stilled. God’s word has the power to change us and liberate us; His words are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible or gold refined seven times. (Ps 12:6) Nonetheless, His words can be ineffective if they are not received, listened to and acted upon (see Matt 7:24-27).
For us to be changed by God’s word, we need to receive it and meditate upon it, speaking and singing it to ourselves and to others. (Eph 5:15, 19-20) We have to pay careful attention to the words we speak and hear; we must learn to be perceptive and to let God’s word, His message, dwell among us richly, welcoming it in to our lives as we welcome friends and family gladly into our homes (Col 3:16). As God’s word washes us, we will grow!