The Shores of Lake Contentment, Part One

A number of years ago I read that, believe it or not, the average American is exposed to about three hundred advertisements a day. Today that number has very likely increased!

The magazine in which I read that fact had more pages dedicated to advertisements than articles of interest to the reader. Shiny, slick, appealing print and pictures designed to hijack your concentration and kidnap your attention. Before you realize it, the Madison Avenue Pied Piper has led you into a world of exaggerated make-believe, convincing you that you simply cannot live without . . .

  • a new digital camera stuffed with extra zoom and more memory
  • an elegant diamond solitaire (a diamond is forever!)
  • a fully-loaded SUV to pull your new outboard
  • a set of Firestone's finest
  • Carter's Little Pills "specially coated to pass right through your stomach releasing their action only in your lower tract"

Or two dozen other double-page, full-color missiles that explode in your mind with the messages, "Try me, you'll see" and "You deserve the very best."

Such bombardments do a number on us. Some of the results are obvious. They stimulate our curiosity, they urge us to buy goods or services, they make us aware of what is available, they announce new products, and—of course—they shape our tastes, habits, and customs. That's all well and good, since it's "the American way" and intricately interwoven into our economy. After all, it's a mega-billion-a-year business.

But there is a subliminal message that detonates deep down inside our heads—silently yet forcefully. Like shrapnel, thoughts are embedded in the brain, conveying a damaging message if we're not careful.

And what is that message?

In a word, it is discontentment. Dissatisfaction. It creates (if we let it) a restless drive for more . . . or better . . . or bigger. Three hundred times or more a day it chips away at the dam that supports one of the last reservoirs of inner peace known to man—contentment. What a beautiful scene in the soul is Lake Contentment!

Any of this sounding familiar? Is the dam of contentment in your life being chipped away? We'll talk more about this important topic tomorrow.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Excerpt taken from Come before Winter and Share My Hope by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1985, 1988, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

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