[170 words]

When Coca-Cola began marketing their product in China in 1928, they ran into a problem translating their name into Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is a language of symbols rather than sound. Retailers tried to translate the title of the new drink using symbols representing the sound rather than what the words the symbols meant. The result was a sign for Coca-Cola that read “Bite the Wax Tadpole.” Needless to say, sales were sluggish until the error was fixed.

As Christians, we are a representation of Christ to the world. As 1 Peter 2:12 says, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation“. If our actions do not match the name we proclaim, we may just as bad for marketing as Coca-Cola was when it first reached China. Remember you may be the only gospel someone ever hears preached!

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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