Tuesday, September 15, 2009


When you care enough to send the very best…
Hallmark Cards ad slogan
Hallmark is the largest greeting card company in the world. It has grown from Mr. J. C. Hall selling picture postcards out of two shoeboxes in 1910, to a $4.3 billion company today. They have now branched out into their famous Christmas ornaments, a cable television channel, gifts, and party supplies, among other products.

Some years ago, they ran a series of television ads that showed people who had received a greeting card. The first thing they do, on the commercial, is check the back to see if there is a Hallmark gold seal on the envelope flap. The voice-over then says, “Hallmark, when you care enough to send the very best.”

Yes, Hallmark managed to create a huge, nationwide, guilt-trip. We all felt inferior if we gave someone anything but a Hallmark card. In turn, the recipient possibly felt a little slighted if they realized they weren’t good enough to get a Hallmark card. I'd say it was a very successful ad campaign.

Part of Hallmark’s “Belief and Values” statement reads, We value and are committed to: Excellence in all we do. High standards of ethics and integrity. Caring and responsible citizenship for Kansas City [Company headquarters is located in Kansas City] and each community in which we operate.

Notice how much Hallmark refers to the word “care”. Caring is a major part of this company. If you visit their website, you’ll find that they talk about how much they “care” about their employees, how the employees “care” about their work, and how the local store owners “care” about the community where they operate. This “caring” even managed to come out in the way they believe customers perceive them. Customers only give Hallmark cards to the people they really “care” about.

The “Key Characteristic” of our church that we are discussing this week is, “Caring”. Our statement reads as follows.
Caring: Some treasures are too valuable to keep to one’s self. Chief among these is the love of God. As we have first received God’s love, so we love those around us. Our love means that we have warm fellowship within the family and that we constantly communicate to those who do not yet belong that we have a place in the family for them. Finally, it means that we imitate Jesus in seeking to meet the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of others.

Caring about someone means that we are concerned for their well being. We can almost substitute the word “love” for “care” in many cases. If we care about someone, we truly are going to see that they get the best from us. If the best from us is a certain kind of greeting card, or the best part of our time and energy, that is what we want to give.

Why is it that we have such a problem then, giving them the best thing they will ever know? Why do we have a hard time giving them Christ? If responding to Christ when He calls to us, is the greatest thing in our lives, then why aren’t we sharing that with everyone?

This church is very good about doing things for others. If there is a legitimate need in our church or in our community, there is usually someone who is willing to help. We have no problem rolling up our sleeves and getting messy, if need be. However, we sometimes have difficulty asking others if they know Jesus Christ, and then sharing Him with those who do not.

If we truly care, then we will share the very best with those around us. If we truly care, we will make every effort to tell the people that we are around each day how much God loves them. In John 10:11-13 Jesus says, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Do you truly have a heart for others like Jesus, or are you just a “hired hand” who does a “job” but runs away at the first sign of trouble? Who have you “cared about” this week? I challenge you to share the message of Jesus Christ with two people this week, then share that story with your Sunday School class on Sunday. They would love to hear about it!

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