Let’s imagine if we took this modern-day concept and applied it in the days of Christ on earth. When people asked, “Who is this Man that calls Himself the Son of God?” or “Are these miracles people speak of true?”, what if the response was simply “Google Me!” What type of reviews or testimonials would be posted about Jesus, regarding His performed miracles, turning little into much? Photo: Unsplash
Many computer users simply “Google it” to read collected data on any given topic searched. On the contrary, very recognized individuals or companies will say “Google me” to imply their popularity or that there is significant amounts of data available.
One prominent reason to utilize web searches is to gather personal knowledge from consumers’ reviews. This practice is commonly known as social proof, which has become the new “word of mouth” mechanism used in marketing. Social proof (considered opinions) is equivalent to asking thousands of friends for their thoughts on a particular company or product they have used in the past. Positive reviews or 4 and 5 stars, can bring more business while negative reviews or less stars can cause consumers to change their mind. One’s opinion or personal testament can prove very valuable and often reliable in assisting another with an important decision.
Let’s imagine if we took this modern-day concept and applied it in the days of Christ on earth. When people asked, “Who is this Man that calls Himself the Son of God?” or “Are these miracles people speak of true?”, what if the response was simply “Google Me!” What type of reviews or testimonials would be posted about Jesus, regarding His performed miracles, turning little into much?
How would the testimonial read from the poor widow that gave her last two mites for offering and Jesus declared, All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on (Luke 21:4). Would Job write a 5-star review after the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10)? Moses would surely post a positive comment after being told, I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Later in Genesis 13:2, the promise was delivered as he had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
It’s often questioned whether one can afford to return a faithful tithe and offering. To that, many have given the rebuttal, “You can’t afford not to” or “You can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how hard you try.” Returning only 10 percent of what we receive, while retaining 90 percent, seems like a no-brainer based on percentages. However, individuals struggle with this concept for various reasons. God asks us in Malachi 3:10 to Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. . . Test me (“prove me” in the KJV) in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
In next month’s edition, we will take a deeper dive into the concept of tithing, considering the purpose of returning a faithful tithe and offering, the distribution process once an individual gives, and when God has been tested, has He been proven to deliver on His promises. What is the social proof?
Jermaine Jackson is Stewardship director and associate treasurer of the Lake Union Conference.