Agreeing on the Terms and Conditions
- May 30, 2019
- Lori Travers
Another purchase, another service, another group to join…and in the one-finger-click approach, I have agreed to hundreds (thousands?) of words and phrases that are quite meaningless to me unless I’ve obtained a Juris Doctor degree. Conceivably, I’ve allowed some random company that I’ve dealt with one time do what they will with the information I’ve provided for them willingly. They can sell my contact information, share it, and use it for analysis. Never once meeting the proprietor, never conversing with him or her, never shaking hands on an agreement, I throw my personal information into their little industrious boat and watch them happily sail away. I can never retrieve what’s been exposed. And if there’s a discrepancy and I choose to sue, the law will unlikely be in my favor.
Why do we adhere to this insanity? Are we too lazy to fight back? Are we too busy to read the fine print? (I certainly am…who’s got time for THAT?!) Are we more interested in jumping on board with every new thing that comes along…questioning nothing…than researching the integrity of a business, website, or app?
I was shocked to hear about a study that was conducted by two communications professors from Toronto that presented hundreds of college students to join a fictitious social network group called “NameDrop”. A mere quarter of the 543 students took the time to read the click-and-sign “contract”, which included a passage that would allow the company to take ownership of the students’ first-born child (!!) This proved quite clearly what these Profs already suspected– that nobody actually reads through these agreements, even though we lie through our teeth every time we click to agree! Yeah…we have no idea what we’re opening ourselves up to and what we’re signing away!
Clearly, there’s no easy answer here as these companies have to protect themselves also. And in the online world we currently inhabit, paper contracts are becoming a thing of the past (as if any of us read those very carefully, either). There is no true privacy anymore (unless you live under a rock, which is becoming more and more appealing to me these days…). And since this remains not my forever home, my fears of exposure aren’t quite as worrisome as they once were. But still, I try to inform myself as much as possible before clicking on said contract.
So, what about the terms and conditions surrounding becoming a Christ-follower? Have I read the contract? Has my commitment to Him been our agreement? Will He use the information I provide against me one day? And will it turn into breach of contract if I fail to hold up my end of the deal? Will He hold up His end of the deal?
The claims of Christianity…really the claims of Christ… have been debated for numerous centuries now. It seems to me that one monumental roadblock in acceptance of Christ claims is that the human race has adhered to an “if-then” mentality which can seem unattainable. “If I do thus and such, then maybe God will reward me by doing thus and such.” “If I’m good (i.e., better than Hitler or Ted Bundy) then maybe God will weigh my works and the scale will tip in my favor.” “If I don’t sin as much, then maybe God will be happy with me.” And so the contract goes. There’s incredible fear that God is like man, not to be trusted to hold up His end of the “arrangement” or that He will somehow throw our sin back in our faces and use it against us. And maybe we view the bible as some sort of contractual obligation guide, and so we strive to follow the letter or we mentally shred the words of the contract because, after all, we just can’t keep all the rules.
Maybe it’s time for a new agreement…one in which there’s a trusted one-sided agreement and the One Who wrote it up signed and sealed it with His very blood. He penned it before the foundations of the world and it will continue to be in effect throughout eternity. It’s a love pact based on the faithfulness and honesty of the only One who can be wholly trusted. He won’t ever abuse your information…ALL of you is safe with Him.
Simply click on “accept” in the spirit and He’ll take it from there.