Who Tells Me Who I Am?

an excerpt from SPIRIT ONLINE for March 16, 2014


Young people are prime targets for the advertising and entertainment businesses. No big surprise. Advertising and entertainment pretend to name their dreams and deal with their problems, to care about their happiness and images, but for only one reason—selling products.

Our desires are infinite. We will always want more. We are made to seek God and follow stars. What happens if advertisers can train our desires for God into desire for more things?

Advertisers see teens both as consumers with money today and as tomorrow’s householders. Specialists keep up with teen trends and interests. They dream up the right looks, the right stuff, so they can cleverly convince us (or teach us through commercials) what we will need to live their way. They do this to make money. They don’t care if their stuff makes anybody a better person or the world a more whole community.

Why care what advertising tells us? Because somebody is choosing for us who we will become. Each of us faces the same daily struggle. Will we let other voices control our choices, our freedom? Or will we choose and shape our own ideas of who we want to be? What communities will help shape us? What about the gospel? What influence will Jesus have on who we become?


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