If you spent any time watching the Olympics over the past two weeks, chances are you saw the same commercials over and over again. My kids have latched onto two commercials and it is the soundtrack/tagline of their lives right now. The first was the ad about Walmart home delivery, highlighted by the song Ring My Bell. My son now walks around randomly singing the (wrong) lyrics: “ring my doorbell…ring my bell.” The second, which both my kids seem to enjoy, is the “Avocados from Mexico” ad. They find it hilarious, in perfect unison and with hilarious inflection in their voices, to sing “Avocados from Mex-E-Co!” Not surprisingly, two questions we’ve gotten this week are, can we order something from Walmart and can we get avocados the next time we go to the store?
Marketing at its finest, right? Simple and repetitive. Then I read this passage from John 15:12-17, where Jesus is addressing His disciples: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”
Moreover, if you flip back two chapters to John 13:34-35, you see Jesus say, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Why does Jesus repeat Himself? Did He run out of material to teach? No, it was because He wanted His disciples (us) to remember it. Simple and repetitive. It’s what every great teacher does. Complex topics are simplified and repeated to promote understanding and follow-through.
In Joshua 1:8, we are told to “meditate on (the Word of God) day and night” so we will follow through with what it says. In Deuteronomy 11, we are told to keep the Word of God close at all times, talking about it always so neither we nor our children will fall away from it. Even in
Acts 2, in the example of the perfect church community, the followers of Christ are devoted to discussing the Word daily. The multi-million dollar marketing strategy of simple and repetitive is nothing new. In fact, it appears to be the number one strategy given to us in the Bible to reinforce our faith, build our understanding, keep us on the path God has set for us, and remember the promises of God in our lives.
I pray this week we will be purposed to be repetitive in our Bible study, scripture memory, and prayer…so we can experience the deep faith and understanding that will allow us to be unshaken as we walk through this life.