I was taking much longer in the toothpaste aisle than I’d planned. Why is choosing toothpaste so complicated? I couldn’t find my regular brand and as I scanned the shelves, I felt like I’d entered a world of unlimited choices. I was deep in thought when I bumped into the cardboard display at the end of the aisle and looked up to see in bold font:
My mind was still hazy with toothpaste choices, so I thought at first I was having some kind of weird word confusion. Sinful color didn’t seem like a moral possibility to me. The toothpaste decision would have to wait—my curiosity was piqued.
The display was for fingernail polish and the advertising tag read “Simply Sinful!” After checking out the varieties offered, I decided the sinful colors apparently aren’t any different than the “non-sinful” colors that I have at home. They looked like your typical shades of pink, violet, a few muddy colors, some wines, an odd assortment of blues . . . none looked really naughty . . .
But what would a “sinful color” look like in contrast to a sinless one?
This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
It’s sad because sin is such a big seller.
The marketing gurus behind this brand think that “Sinful Colors” will attract buyers simply by inserting the idea of sin. Standing in the toothpaste aisle, I wanted to weep (seriously). And I wanted to shout! I grieve for a world that believes the lie that forbidden fruit satisfies, for a culture that doesn’t know that sin’s reward is death and its nature is bondage. I’m brought to tears when I realize that advertisers know what people want—and this was just another example (one in a very long line) of our culture’s hunger for depravity:
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity . . . And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper . . . and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” (Quoting from Romans 1, but really the entire chapter needs to be placed here!)
I want to shout for those caught in the lie and tell them—there is fresh water to drink—eternal and living water. You don’t have to settle for muddy pools from broken wells. There is something much better than gravel in your mouth!
If the disguise of sin could be ripped away, its attractive package could be seen for the poisonous corruption it is, there would be no takers. That is the irony of sin.
When our children were younger and we watched the movie, The Lord of the Rings, I remember leaning over to my son when we got our first glimpse of the hideous face of Gollum. I whispered (a bit too loudly for a public theatre):
“Son—that’s what sin really looks like!”
If there really was such a thing as “sinful colors” they wouldn’t be made with the rainbow’s vibrant hues. “Sinful colors” would all be the same drab colorless tone. Color is displayed because of light, and sin’s ugly character is hidden because of darkness.
Just as darkness is the absence of light, sin is the absence of true beauty.
He invites you to come to the light, friend. Don’t stay in the darkness any longer!
I’m thinking this advertising slogan is a total oxymoron. What do you think?