Branding is a popular term in our culture today. Every business is trying to be branded for something. Beer commercials. Geico. Fast food joints. Have it your way. You deserve a break today. You have worked hard. You deserve it. Shoe companies touting their latest shoes. Tech firms seeking to get an edge on their competition need a brand that sets them apart.
I guess I have been branded over the years for my dress. For about 25 years I have been wearing cowboy boots. I wear them 350+ days out of the year. In the past few years, I have engendered the Tommy Bahama shirt, so it’s cowboy boots and Tommy shirts. That has been my physical brand.
As I was reading in I Kings the other day, I found another person who was branded by his clothing. It was Elijah the prophet. There were some people trying to find Elijah and didn’t know where to find him. The people who knew Elijah responded by telling them what to look for in Elijah’s dress. “They replied, ‘He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.’ The king said, ‘That was Elijah the Tishbite.’” Elijah was branded by a garment of hair and a leather belt. 2 Kings 1:8 NIV
But that isn’t all that Elijah is known for. He was a prophet that trusted God and was used by God to bring forth God’s direction and plan for all kinds of people that he came in contact with. He walked with God and did His bidding to the point that when God was ready for Elijah to leave this earth, Elijah didn’t die, but was taken from this earth by a chariot and angels coming to take him. His faith and obedience in the Lord was truly his brand.
Although I wear cowboy boots and Tommy Bahama shirts, that is not what I would like to be branded by ultimately. I want people to see that I walked with God and was obedient to His plan for my life which I am seeking to follow everyday. The ultimate brand that comes from the Heavenly Father is the brand that I seek on a daily basis.
On this journey, it is important to choose that brand that we want to be known for. Physical brands will vanish over time, but spiritual brands will last forever. Choose wisely.