廣告-令人愉悅的香氣或是難聞的臭味?

By Rick Boxx

消費者普遍對廣告抱持著高度懷疑的態度。根據一個市調網站所做的調查結果,無論用甚麼形式的媒體,75%的消費者認為廣告內容是誇大和誤導人的。

民眾票選最不相信的五種廣告分別是:減肥、美容用品、 酒精飲料、金融服務和汽車廣告。所以當他們看到電視、廣播、報紙、雜誌或是網路中各式各樣的廣告時,心裡面經常對自己說:「我才不相信。」

在商業和專業的世界裡面,我們經常要面臨一個挑戰就是要推廣我們的產品、服務和企業。在這個過程當中,我們會竭盡所能來說服潛在的客戶,嘗試使用我們所提供的產品或服務,這是可以理解的。但是在一股腦兒想把產品銷售出去的過程中,我們也有可能會扭曲事實或欺騙客戶,只為了把東西賣出去。

但是對跟隨耶穌基督的人來說,這樣的欺騙是一個很大的問題。因為這會降低我們希望能建立自己是職場宣教大使誠懇、真實的形象。如果我們對自己所賣的產品和服務都不誠實,在傳講耶穌是真理時,有誰會認真看待呢?

思考一下,當我們走進一個充滿迷人香氣的房間時,你感覺如何?你會不會很想繼續待在那個房間裡?相反的,如果走進一個房間充滿了讓人不舒服的味道時,你會希望趕快離開那裏對吧?很有趣的,在聖經裡面,也特別提到這種情況:

我們散發的香氣是令人愉快的或者令人厭惡的? 新約哥林多後書2章15節教導我們,無論我們有沒有自覺,和我們相遇的人都會感受到我們所散發出來的氣息。因為我們在上帝面前,無論在得救的人身上或滅亡的人身上,都有基督馨香之氣。想像一下自己走進一個充滿咖啡香味的咖啡店,或者是一個散發迷人香味的花店。身為耶穌基督的跟隨者,我們也應當在自己身處的職場對我們每天所遇到的人發揮影響力。

對一些人,我們的馨香沒有用。有些人只要提到宗教,就覺得被冒犯。這不是我們的問題。不過和人相處時,如果對方知道我們是基督徒,我們要盡可能給人好的印象。只要心裏尊主基督為聖。有人問你們心中盼望的緣由,就要常作準備,以溫柔、敬畏的心回答各人; 存椾無虧的良心,叫你們在何事上被毀謗,就在何事上可以叫那誣賴你們在基督裏有好品行的人自覺羞愧。(彼得前書3章15-16節)

成為一個有果效的職場宣教士 我們必須牢記一件事: 我們的工作就是基督馨香之氣最佳的廣告,我們就是耶穌基督最佳的代言人。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。

省思/討論題目
你覺得為什麼大部分的消費者都對廣告內容和所說的話抱持懷疑的態度? 為了要銷售公司的產品或是服務,你是否曾經被試探說誇大其辭的話?你自己是否被廣告所宣稱的誇大言詞誤導過?當時你感覺如何? 在工作上,我們會用文宣、媒體或是網路廣告推廣我們的產品和服務。相同地,你覺得身為一個基督徒,要如何推廣耶穌基督? 在職場上成為耶穌基督的大使,是一個活的廣告。你覺得自己在這方面做得如何?分享你的經驗。如果你手上有聖經,想要查考更多關於這個主題的經文,請參考:利未記3章16節;民數記15章13節、28章27節;以賽亞書 3章18-24節;約翰福音12章3節;歌羅西書 4章5-6節

ADVERTISING: PLEASING AROMA, OR BAD ODOR?
By Rick Boxx

It seems the typical consumer holds a high level of skepticism toward advertising. According to the results of a study published on a marketing website, more than three in every four consumers – over 75 percent – believe most of the claims made in advertisements, regardless of the communications medium utilized, are exaggerated or intentionally misleading.

The men and women surveyed also identified the five industries they trust the least: weight loss; beauty supplies; alcoholic beverages; financial services, and automotive, in that order. So when we see or hear TV and radio commercials, or read newspaper, magazine or online ads for products in these areas, we are more than likely to conclude, “I do not believe it.”

In the business and professional world, one of our challenges is to sell our organizations, as well as products or services we offer. Understandably, in this process, we want to do all we can to persuade the potential buyer to try what we have to offer. However, in the excitement of attempting to do this, we can easily fall into the trap of distorting the truth and deceiving customers for the sake of the sale.

For those of us who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, such deception is very problematic. It diminishes the image we seek to establish as sincere, genuine ambassadors – representatives – for Christ in the marketplace. It also undermines our evangelistic effectiveness. Why would someone take seriously our efforts to communicate the truth and reality of Jesus if they cannot even believe what we say about the tangible products and services our companies provide?

Think of it this way: When you walk into a room and are greeted by a pleasant aroma, how does that make you feel? Does that make you want to remain there for a while? How about stepping into a room that is filled with an offensive odor? You desire to get out of there as quickly as possible, right? It is interesting that the Bible addresses this very specifically:

Is our “aroma” pleasant or repulsive? In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 2:15 teaches that whether we are aware of it or not, we present an “aroma” to everyone we encounter: "For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." Think about you walking into a café and being greeted by pleasing coffee aromas, or a florist shop where the delicate fragrances of flowers beckon for your attention? As followers of Christ, we should strive to have the same impact on those with whom we work and encounter every day in the marketplace.

Our “scents” will not make sense to some. Certainly there are those who are offended by the mere mention of Jesus Christ. That is not our problem. But when we interact with people and they discover we are His followers, we should try to leave a favorable impression. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:15-16).

To be effective ambassadors for Christ we must remember that even our business advertisements can serve to bring the aroma of Christ. Because they represent the values we embrace and what we believe.

Copyright 2016, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. His new book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God”s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Why do you think many consumers are so skeptical of advertising content and claims? In the interest of trying to persuade someone to buy a product or service you or your company offered, have you ever been tempted to overstate what it could do? Or have you been “victimized” by misleading advertising promises? How did that make you feel? What connection do you think there is – or should be – between the faith we have in Jesus Christ and how we represent the products and services we offer in business through advertising, whether in print, through broadcast media, or even over the Internet? How do you react to the idea of being an “ambassador for Jesus Christ” – that you are a walking, talking advertisement, positive or negative, for Him? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Leviticus 3:16; Numbers 15:13, 28:27; Isaiah 3:18-24; John 12:3; Colossians 4:5-6

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