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Devotionals 2005

Self-Exploitation
November 3, 2005By Ed Wrather

11.03.05

Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. - 2 Corinthians 2:10-12.

Abercrombie & Fitch is a clothing retailer that has experienced criticism in the past for its marketing techniques, which included partially clothed models in their “magalog” in 2003. The new controversial marketing technique is aimed at teenage girls. The company is selling T-shirts with slogans on them, which are demeaning and even mean spirited in some cases. One example is the T-shirt that has the statement, “I had a nightmare I was a brunette,” and another one even more inappropriate states, “I’d look great on you.” One Psychologist, commenting on all of this says that the shirts can be mentally detrimental to teenage girls who may already be struggling with their self-image.

There is a group of girls in Pittsburgh who have started a boycott against Abercrombie & Fitch although they are calling it a “girlcott.” Watching a story about this on NBC’s Today Show I was particularly impressed with one young lady who said that they were already exploited enough by others and so why should they exploit themselves by wearing these T-shirts. Looking up exploitation in the dictionary, I found this definition: “utilization of another person or group for selfish purposes.” Therefore, self-exploitation (Did not find such a word in the dictionary.) must mean that you facilitate your own exploitation by purchasing products or participating in activities that further someone else’s or an organization’s selfish purposes to the detriment of your own.

We have an enemy who is constantly looking for any kind of opening in our lives to attack us and exploit us for his evil purposes. He will use groups, organizations, individuals, whoever or whatever is available to try to take advantage of us. To wear a demeaning or mean spirited T-shirt would be doing the devil’s work for him. We would be exploiting ourselves on behalf of the enemy and causing pain to others, which would bring a smile to the faces of demons. In doing so we would be having fellowship with demons (1 Corinthians 10:19-21).

How else can we exploit ourselves? Watching immoral shows on television and then buying the products of the companies sponsoring them would be self-exploitation. Buying books or magazines that are immoral or inappropriate for Christians would be self-exploitation. Using addictive substances, which are damaging to our health and testimony as a Christian is self-exploitation. Going with your friends to a party that will have an immoral flavor and participating in it is self-exploitation. I think you get the idea. Why are these things self-exploitation? Because you have a choice - you do not have to do it.

The apostle Paul says about Satan, “for we are not ignorant of his devices.” You do not have to be ignorant any longer of Satan’s desire to take advantage of you for his own selfish purposes and of how he wants to use you to exploit yourself. You do not have to allow this to happen! Join the “girlcott” and say “NO!” to Abercrombie & Fitch along with all the other countless attempts to push you into self-exploitation.


Visitor Comments (1)
Say Yes to Jesus
Posted By BAPTISTBELLE on April 22, 2009
Saying yes to Jesus means saying no to a lot of other things. I thank you for this interesting thread, and am surprised that no one commented on it yet.

Many times I have considered closing my Facebook account(again) because I keep running across offensive content. I removed a niece from my friends list because of the offensive pictures she posted. (Just don't want to have to look at them or to be associated with her, even though she's supposedly "christian.") Facebook's Flair Application is laced with inappropriate things for people to be filling their minds with, so searching for something good is fraught with danger. Some of the Applications promote drinking alcohol, sex, etc., and some of the gifts are down right evil. Whatever we put before our eyes can affect us, but we either forget that, or conveniently ignore it. I think sometimes we are ignorant of Satan's devices. Dear reader, what has you blinded?

We do not watch television at our house, and do not watch anything from Hollywood, because they all have an agenda. There are too many land mines there. Twice I had an account on AIM, but couldn't escape the Dashboard, and found it entirely offensive. Yahoo news stories have compelling titles and pictures that were produced to grab our attention and pull us down. We can't even drive down the road without some lewd bulletin board screaming something obnoxious at us. We are subjected to the world's filth and vile messages, but silenced when we want to proclaim the truth in love. So many things are forced upon us in the name of "Freedom of speech," but just try to present the gospel to someone, and the world cries, "Separation!" Ok, that may be a subject for a different thread, but you get the idea...

I'm not one to shop in malls any longer, except on rare occasions, and have never been attracted to the Abercrombie and Fitch store. I don't watch the slanted news on TV, and only listen to Christian radio, so have not heard much about A&F, except enough to know all was not well there... It seems if we want to really do a "girlcott," then there's a whole lot more to avoid and protest. How about Walmart's line of clothing for women called, "George," for example? There's plenty of places that promote illicit and indecent behavior and practices through their advertising and imagery. Have you noticed the "street walker" clothing in the little girl's departments?

How often we laugh at things we shouldn't even be thinking about. To go along with certain jokes means we tolerate, rather than shun the evil. We use slang and say things that shouldn't be spoken, and think little of it, and tell ourselves, "It's not that bad..."

I believe we need to do both girl- and boycotts about a lot more things, and quit being so complacent and comfortable with the Koolaide.

Better yet, why bother protesting at all? If we spent our time going by twos door-to-door, presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than being distracted by so-called, "righteous" causes, perhaps we'd reach the world. We're not. Instead, we dress like them, talk like them, and sad to say, play like them. No wonder Satan is winning. Wake up, Christians!!!

I liked your thread because it got me thinking about Satan's subtle ways, and how he uses various means to trick and deceive us. But many times, Satan doesn't need the credit. We choose to go astray. When we get caught, we blame Satan. (Nothing new under the sun.)

Please don't get offended and shoot the messenger. Perhaps the anger you may feel by my post is Holy Spirit conviction. I know I'm convicted right now. Heaven knows I need to change (and not the Washington version, either)...

I think we need to regularly say, "No" to certain things more often, and frequently say, "Yes to Jesus."
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