When was the last time you had a good argument? Were you convincing? Did you win?
If the answer is yes, you lost. Possibly you won the argument, but you lost, if you won.
You might have heard about the video commercial for “Peloton” exercise bikes. I only lasts for about thirty seconds, and it is very well produced. It’s easy to see the professionalism in the production; the script writing, the camera work, and the acting are all excellent. This piece of skilled professional work should have boosted sales for this popular product, this Christmas.
But there is a problem. People hate this commercial. The value of the entire corporation fell by ten percent after it was published. That is a huge problem for a business that wants to sell us things. Take a look and decide what you think:
Many experts have many things to say, and they know more than me, but I see one spiritual lesson in the Peloton commercial. Notice that the message is basically religious; the woman has a kind of conversion experience that transforms her life, and she is grateful.
Peloton won the argument, and they lost when they won. They made a convincing message, but what they lost was ten percent of their corporate value.
Probably none of us know the name “Hafod Hardware.” It’s a very old hardware store in Wales, not in the same league as Peloton Corporation. The little company, Hafod Hardware made a Christmas commercial, and spent about 100 pounds on production. I guess they didn’t pay the actor. This is a year for surprises; people everywhere love the Hafod Hardware Christmas commercial. Take a look and decide what you think:
- RELATED: This Christmas commercial is warming hearts across the internet — and it only cost $130 to make: CNN
Hafod has no argument to win. They don’t convince us to buy anything, but I believe tourists from many places will find them, and probably spend money when they get there.
Years ago, I was with some other Christians in a city far away from home. We met another man and started a conversation; a friendly conversation. My friends and I were Christians, and we didn’t make that a secret. The man we met was a Muslim, probably from Iran or Afghanistan. He told us about his religion, as soon as we met.
Our conversation had no argument. The Muslim man was friendly and curious about us. We explained what we believed and answered his questions, and he explained himself to us. We all enjoyed our friendly conversation, until the others arrived. That friendly Muslim man had friends, other Muslim men that he lived with. They found us and interrupted the conversation. They formed a human wall between us and our new friend, and argued with us in an angry way. I think they were about to get violent, and so we left.
We lost the argument, but the friendly conversation was a success.
Arguing is something we all do, and not just Muslims. Those angry men were the soldiers on the front line, the guards at the gate. Persuasive people are like that, in any religion, or with Christmas commercials, or in politics. I remember Christians like that in my church, when I was a boy. Only a few people tell us what to do, and they organize the world. Without those few people, we would be more like the boy in the hardware store.
We all know that political news, these days, is filled with arguments and people are addicted to winning. Victory comes when the soldiers on the other side are humiliated. Important people are busy insulting each other, and telling us what side to be on. There is also violence in the streets, in many countries. The guards are at the gates.
One of the great lies of human history, is that the soldiers who argue and fight are us. They are actually a tiny part of the population, but they seem to own all the air in the room.
Imagine being a Christian in the Roman Empire, back when Christians were a new thing. You would lose every argument. We know that Christians were violently persecuted, and some were killed. Apparently, some Christians were put into arenas and people watched while hungry lions killed them, and ate them. From the point of view of the important people, the guardians of society, this strange cult prayed to a condemned criminal who had been executed by Roman soldiers. They claimed that their criminal leader had returned from the dead, but only they had talked to him.
The argument was simple; get rid of these strange people. I imagine that the argument was lost by any Christian, about the time the lion bit down.
Those Christians were fools, they lost every argument with the important people, and they were humiliated. They had no future. A few generations later, about two hundred years, around half of the people in the entire Roman Empire identified themselves as Christian.
In the year 313, the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which gave legal tolerance to the Christians. By that time the followers of Jesus were everywhere, and Constantine was just recognizing something obvious. After that time, the religion of Jesus completely dominated the whole Roman Empire.
Those first Christians lost every argument, and won the Empire. It was an early version of Peloton versus Hafod. That is the way God works, and if we are surprised and can’t explain it, we are affected by the delusion of the guardians who organize us.
This Christmas, I hope you can pause to remember the illegitimate baby who was born in a barn, who escaped with His family before the important people killed him. He is the criminal who was executed later.
Jesus lost every argument, and He is winning the whole world today. I hope you are persuaded with Him.