The answer was a surprise to me. It’s the number 7 followed by 9 zeroes. That’s right, $7,000,000,000. Evidently tricking and treating is the serious business of tricking the American public into treating retailers to the tune of $7 billion.
Dumbfounded that people can be found so dumb, I searched a little more, and I discovered that the National Retail Federation released an interesting survey that studied how consumers seek advice before they make a purchase. The top four items on the survey are revealing. Before making the decision to purchase an item, respondents used the following methods:
• 75.5% would seek Face to Face advice
• 30.8% would Read Product Reviews
• 25.9% would use Email as a resource
• 22.6% would send Text Messaging to get information
As I thought about the findings above, it occurred to me that many people use the same methodology before they decide to follow Jesus. The Face to Face method is one that John thought was important, and his Gospel lists several life-changing face to face encounters:
Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)
Jesus and the Woman at the Well (John 4:1-42)
Jesus and the Man born Blind (John 9:1-41)
Paul and Silas were adept at giving product reviews: “On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews, and the people there were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Consequently, many of them believed (Acts 17:10-12).”
When people within your circle of influence seek advice concerning Christianity, is your life a convincing testimony of who Jesus is? After they investigate the claims of the Gospel based on their observation of you, are they willing to invest their lives?
Kind of a scary thought isn’t it?