Do you get tired of marketing emails filling up your inbox? The unsolicited ones really bother me, but I don’t mind when Boden informs me of their 20% off sale. In fact, I get excited. When Athleta is adding more inventory to their clearance section, by all means let me know!
My brother and I were having a conversation about marketing the other day. Luke owns a mixed martial arts academy. He was talking about some new marking techniques he was learning about and how they have really been working. At first, he was hesitant to try because it involved sending out more frequent emails. Luke didn’t want to annoy his clients. But he decided to try out this technique and sent out some more emails. To his shock, more people were signing up, buying more of his online products, and even thanking him for sending the emails. He made a comment that stuck with me: “People need to be reminded.”
In fact, we need to hear something over and over again sometimes before we make a purchase. I might get an email of Boden’s new summer line of dresses and think, “Wow, love that orange dress. That’s on my maybe list for the summer. But dang, it’s expensive, and my kids are playing a lot of sports right now, going on field trips, and we have a vacation coming up.” So basically I am window shopping in my mind. A little while later, the catalogue comes in the mail and I think, “Man, I really do like that orange dress, and I can imagine myself wearing it to my friend’s wedding.” But I still can’t justify the purchase. Then, lo and behold, 2 weeks later I get an email that all dresses are 20-30% off. Just like the snake that’s been stepped on three times, I have to bite. “I mean I had to,” I tell my husband. “That dress was calling my name, and now I can bask in the fact that I saved money in buying it.” That’s when he says something about how curious it is how much money I spend to save.
I began to think of this principle at work in our spiritual lives—the need to be told and reminded, not the spending to save part. I couldn’t search within myself to know that the perfect orange dress existed. I needed to be told. The gospel is that way. It is an announcement. And, because of my proclivity to sin, I need to be reminded of Christ’s amazing work on my behalf. This thinking took me back to an article I wrote at Christmastime. Here’s the part worth repeating:
Well there is one thing that we actually need to hear over and over. In fact, we need to hear it everyday, not just on annual holidays. This is the gospel, of course. Maybe part of our love for repetition is fashioned to point us to the greatest news that never gets old. In our human sinfulness and depravity, we constantly want to look to ourselves. We want to earn our own righteousness and hear our own praises. The good news actually tells us that we have offended our Creator, the holy God. Our sin separates us from him and deserves his eternal wrath. This pronouncement also proclaims a Savior, God’s own Son, who descended to earth, was born in a manger, fulfilled all righteousness, and bore our curse on a tree. Three days later, he rose again. After that, he ascended to the right hand of the Father as the advocate of all those who are united to him by faith. While we wait for his blessed return, we are given the seal of his Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, who transforms our heart, mind, and spirit, even as our bodies age and decay. But wait, there’s more! We now have peace with God, true joy based on the hope of our eternal abode with him, and true expectation for new incorruptible bodies that will be lived in perfect worship of our Savior on the new heavens and new earth.
This saving announcement is not something I can find from an inner soul-searching. It is a revelation that I must hear announced to me. And to that I say, “Tell me again!”