A lot of workplaces have coffee stations that are on the honour system…you are supposed to throw a buck in the box when you take a coffee. Emphasis on the word “supposed”. Not everyone is honest! A group of psychologists studied this; the thing they found most effective in helping people be honest at coffee stations was not verbal appeals, or signs encouraging people to be honest. What was most effective was a picture over the coffee machine…a life-size picture of a person looking straight at you. A visual aid that suggested someone was watching you!
We are people who love visual aids. Many people have pictures of their extended family in their home. Why show pictures; do you not remember your family, do you not believe that your family exists? We display pictures because they remind us of loving relationships, we want to be reminded that people love us. Similarly many people who are married wear the visual aid of a wedding ring. Have people forgotten that they are married? Do they need a ring to remind them? Of course not; but a ring can convey reminders of commitment. And it is a public way of broadcasting that commitment to people you meet.
What about visual aids and faith? How comfortable are you displaying Christian symbols on your person, or in your home or workplace? What would stop you? Visual aids are a tricky business when it comes to Mennonites and faith; come to church on Sunday for a discussion on how we can help ourselves remember our faith. What does the Bible have to say about this?
This week’s prayer: Lord, this week open our eyes to visual aids; help us think about how what we see can encourage our faith.