The Wall Street Journal recently (August 13, 2014) published an article detailing the surge of food and drink retailers to use “see-through” packaging to market their goods. Generally, goods sold that show at least some of the product are selling better. The piece highlighted the delicate balance of using this type of packaging with a variety of different foods. For instance, potato chips don’t sell well with “see-through” packaging but tortilla chips do. Granola, pricey juice drinks, yogurt, and pizza are examples of “see-through” items that seem to be selling better than their “hidden” competitors.
The research was clear (no pun intended) – shoppers are more inclined to buy when they see what they’re getting. But here is the kicker – “transparent packaging is surprisingly hard to make. Food often isn’t ready for a big reveal after a package has suffered shipping, shelf stocking, and other jostling.” Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2014, See-Through Food Packaging Boosts Sales
Now this grabbed my attention! Having worked and interacted with people of all shapes, sizes, political persuasions, different levels of religious fervor, and a sundry of other temperaments, I am convinced that the most attractive people are those who we can “see through.” And let me tell you – just as actual transparent packaging is hard to create for the retailers, a transparent life is hard to live. Why? Because just like a bag of chips, life has a way of causing “shipping problems, shelf stocking, and other jostling” to occur day-to-day.
The article went on to state that the research to create the right packaging paid off. Julia Wing-Larson, marketing manager for Larabar, said, “When the clear wrapper version of the bar hit shelves earlier this year consumers said in surveys that the bars looked like they tasted better, felt less artificial, and the ingredients seemed fresher.”
Have you ever been around people who were transparent with you? I’m not talking those who told you every little thing about their past and their life; I’m talking about those who did not put on a facade when you were with them. These are the type of people who “taste better” than those who put on a show, they felt much less artificial, and you walked away refreshed. Why? Because their “ingredients” (the real them) seemed fresher than much of what we see in humanity.
I confess, I have not always lived up to this mantra of being “see-through” in my life with others. Too often, I have put on a mask, a veneer if you will, to make myself look better than I really am. And to be honest, there have been many a time when people have walked away from me knowing they were not getting “the real thing.”
My upbringing was centered around the Word of God. And for that, I am so thankful! It was during that time when I learned of salvation plain and simple. It was during that time where my love for the Bible grew. During my life, I have attended two different Bible colleges. All in all, I have spent most of my life in an environment in which the Bible and fundamental truths of the Word were disseminated freely and received freely. However, I will admit now that I believe too much emphasis was placed on the packaging and not enough on the “innards.” The exterior (or packaging) of a Christian was often what was worked on instead of the ingredients on the inside. The result? Good-looking Christians who, when “opened,” left much to be desired.
The Apostle Paul was a straight shooter. Those acquainted with Paul (both before and after his conversion to Christianity) knew that he was as real as they came. Acts 26:4 states, My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews. The passage goes on to describe that those who knew him knew that he followed his religion very seriously. And his leadership showed both before and after his salvation. People were drawn to him. Were they drawn to him because of his manner of dress? Were they drawn to him because of the rules he followed? No, I believe they were partly drawn to him because he was REAL. He used “see-through” packaging throughout his life.
On a closing note, notice what the Wall Street Journal said shoppers are seeking:
Clear packaging gives products an aura of being natural, something that more shoppers are seeking. Seeing “simple, wholesome ingredients,” can be a powerful motivation to buy, says Ms. Wing-Larson. “You eat with your eyes.”
Every day people decide whether to “buy in” when it comes to your life. When they see you, do they only see the packaging? If your life was packaged with “see-through” packaging, would they see “simple, wholesome ingredients?”
Away with the slick packaging, the fancy veneer, the sparkly wrapper. Let’s decide to be real, “see-through” Christians.