The Bathroom Reader’s The World’s Gone Crazy presents an amusing list of failed “business expansion ideas” that major corporations recently tried. It serves as a warning that success and brilliance in one small corridor of human endeavor does not guarantee it in all areas. Consider a few of them: Cheetos lip balm, Colgate frozen dinners, Harley Davidson perfume, Lifesavers soda, Donald Trump steaks, Burger King underwear, Disney milk, Barbie adult clothing, and Precious Moments coffins.
From Success to Sage
Cheetos’ success in making a good snack food was no indicator that it could also make an effective lip balm. Harley Davidson’s success in making and selling motorcycles did not make it an authority on colognes and perfumes. Burger King has had tremendous success in food service. But maybe it should have stayed out of the clothing business.
The same is true of America’s icons of success – famous men and women who have struck it rich in business. Our culture so values material success that it grants successful people the status of a sage. There was a time in Henry Ford’s early days of success, in which society gave him unqualified credibility on every subject under the sun. Americans assumed that Ford’s success in making automobiles equated to intelligence and wisdom on everything from marriage and child-rearing to politics and foreign policy. In reality, Henry Ford proved tragically incompetent in family relationships and his racist ideas flawed his approach to matters of state. But his is no isolated example. Our culture worships all the icons of success and celebrity. It seeks them out for advice on how we should live, think, and believe.
Seeking The Infallible Source
Conventional wisdom dictates that if my pipes leak, I call a plumber; if my car breaks down, I have it towed to the repair shop. But, be advised – for the most serious questions and problems of life, go to the infallible Source. If I need guidance on how I should live my life and how I should treat other human beings, then I turn to the Holy Scriptures that are a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). If my sin-sick soul is ailing, if I fear death and eternity, and if I yearn for the assurance of eternal life, then I need to seek the One who has borne my sins on His own body upon the cross, who has absorbed the fiery wrath of hell on my behalf and has conquered death and now freely offers the gift of eternal life (Romans 3:23-26). Dr. Phil, Oprah, and Rush Limbaugh cannot do any of that for me. Sure, they’re all highly successful people, but they are way out of their lane when they tell me what my values should be and the direction my life should take.
I must seek the great physician, the One who supplies all my needs according to heaven’s glorious riches, the wonderful counselor, the Commander of Heaven’s Armies, the Lamb of God, and the savior of the world – Jesus Christ.
Dear Jesus, Please forgive my sins, cleanse my sin-stained heart, transform me and make me a new person on the inside, write my name in Heaven’s book, and help me to always live with eternity’s values in mind. Amen.