Overcoming Evil with Good

By December 2, 2011 culture, faith No Comments

My work exposes me to both the worst and the best of human behavior. I’m plunged to the depths of despair when I hear of the brutal reality of sex trafficking, bonded laborers, and the exploitation of the weak. Then I hear stories of redemption that send my heart soaring—there are organizations and individuals working to free slaves, rescue the oppressed, and build up communities to transform age-old practices that produce the horror.

We are a people capable of much evil, and much good.

This week I read a marketing article that described a concept called “social proof.” It is the notion that we as humans look around us to see what is common behavior. We are by nature drawn to do what others are doing. That’s why God’s Word tells us to choose our companions wisely (for example, see 1 Corinthians 15:33).

As I considered the tenants of social proof, I thought of several groups that are committed to living out the love of God by tangible acts of redemption throughout the world.

Do Something Now is a movement of young people that gives time and energy to a select number of causes each year. These young people (in their late teens and early 20s) are making a tremendous impact! (As Our Own, the organization I work for, was blessed to be chosen for a project this year, receiving a gift of more than $110,000!).

Blood:Water Mission is another favorite of mine. This group builds wells in Africa, providing clean, safe drinking water to villages. The simple gift of clean water gives an immediate boost in health and daily living. This year B:W reached a milestone by completing its 1,000th well. That’s 1,000 villages transformed! Wow.

I present these two examples as the best sort of social proof. They are engaging in positive acts that demonstrate the love and care of God to the broken and oppressed in the world. As such actions gain momentum, the positive influence for the name of Christ will build, inspiring more and more people to behave in like fashion.

In the face of all that’s wrong in the world, such behavior reminds me that love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8). And this is where my hope rests.

I wrote more about social proof in my Mixed Signals column this week over at Christ and Pop Culture. Pop over to read more at Mixed Signals: Influencing People for Good.

Where do you see social proof working for good? I’d love to hear all about it.

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Mixed Signals is my weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging hosted each Thursday at Christ and Pop Culture.

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