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When Conscience and Conduct Collide

It’s tricky learning how to maneuver doing business through worldly wisdom when your objective is to “Do God’s Will”. Here’s an example of what I mean. The following is a message taken from Joel Olsteen’s website:
 
“Redeem The Time”: You’re a person of destiny. God is counting on you to make a difference in this world and fulfill your purpose. With this gift of life comes a responsibility to develop your talents, pursue your dreams, and become what God has created you to be. Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Make the most of every opportunity. Don’t be vague and thoughtless, but live accurately and purposefully.” Let this message teach you how to reach your highest potential and grow in excellence. Get ready to reevaluate and refocus your life so you can run every step with purpose!
 
At first, the message above seems positive and innocent enough, until I actually looked up the Bible Verse Ephesians 5:15-17. 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
 
I’m not sure which translation Joel’s using, but here’s a link to some popular translations that I’ve found for Ephesians 5:15-17
 
As far as I know, “the will of the Lord” is NOT to “fulfill your purpose” as Joel tries to tell us, we are commissioned to fulfill God’s purpose, not our own. So, why am I bothering to tell you this as an online marketer? Simple, I have a conscience!
 
Contrary to popular belief, my objective as an affiliate marketer is not just to have you click on one of my links and buy stuff. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m not just in it for the money.
 
Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
 
Spirit Versus Flesh
 
I’ll admit it, I’m a terrible online marketer, I really missed my calling as an evangelist, only my flesh got in the way😁  Romans 7:15“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”
 
 
There are really only 3 choices of which you can do when you’re at war with yourself and they are:
 
1) Self Improvement – Try to force conscience to control conduct by sheer willpower (this is what the world teaches us).
2) Self Indulgence – Try to drown out your conscience through lawlessness (your sinful conduct no longer bothers you).
3) Spirit Indwelling – Trust God’s grace in Christ to forgive you and depend on the Spirit’s power to battle your fleshly desires.
 
Secular Marketing and Spiritual Marketing
 
The first two choices above (Secular Marketing) is all about the self and unfortunately, it’s just the way most of us are taught living in the world. 2 Timothy 3:2 – People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.
 
Christians can be infected by secular worldviews not only in our beliefs but also in our marketing practices, and I’ll be the first one to admit my own shortcomings as a “Christian entrepreneur”.
 
In “Secular Marketing” anything can be marketed as “Christian” in order to target that particular audience. And, indeed that was my line of thinking when I first started online in picking a niche. I had good intentions but sadly it was very tainted and self-serving.
 
The third choice, also known as “Spiritual Marketing” actually helps to fulfill God’s command found in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 
 
Meet People Where They Are At
 
Technology has made the world smaller, which makes the internet the perfect place to reach people with the message of Jesus Christ!  Jesus went to where He knew there would be a person in need.
 
As both a Christian and an online marketer I know God wants to use me to fulfill His purpose. This is where the hard part comes in, I need to let Him by dying to my flesh. And because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, I don’t have to face that challenge alone.
 
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!