October 30, 2017

Affiliate

Devotion for the Week...

Affiliate marketing is a buzzword in the blogging business world, where people are seeking to make money through their blogs. It is less evident in the quilt blogging world, but it does exist.

For example, I am an affiliate for Craftsy, Make Modern and the Quilter's Planner (all affiliate links 😉) Affiliate marketing works because if I refer someone and they make a purchase, the company gets a sale and I get a small commission from that sale, without it costing the buyer anything extra. Affiliates help to promote a product by telling their audience about it and, in exchange, they share in the financial success of that product. It is called affiliate marketing because we are affiliating ourselves with the product we are promoting.

Of course, if you're buying something because I've recommended it, you would expect that I like that thing, right? And for Craftsy, Make Modern and the Quilter's Planner, you'd be absolutely right. Craftsy classes are the way I learned free motion quilting, Make Modern is a fabulous quilting magazine (and not only because they've published my designs, lol) and I've used and loved the Quilter's Planner since it first became available for 2016 and my 2018 edition should be arriving any day now. I am happy to have my name affiliated with those products.

In Bible times, religious teachers would travel from place to place, staying with local believers. Writing to a woman in the church, the apostle John wrote, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work" (2 John 11).

Anyone who welcomed a teacher into their home would have been helping to promote that teacher's message by helping to make it possible for him to stay in that town and teach. They were affiliating themselves with that teacher. John is saying that, by helping to promote that teacher's message, you share in the work with them. If they were teaching the truth about God, then you would share in the reward for that work. But if they were teaching falsely about God, you would also share in that.

Times have changed! With modern publishing and technology, there's no shortage of ways for people to share their insights about God without needing to travel around. Likewise, there are a lot of ways for us to promote the teachers we like without needing to have them as guests in our home. We can promote them by giving their book to a friend, sharing their posts on Facebook or Instagram, linking to them on our own blog, sharing their best quotes, telling everyone we know about their TV show/podcast/book/FB page/however they share their work.

What hasn't changed is the need for discernment. The need to pay close attention to what people are teaching and think for ourselves about whether or not that teaching lines up with the Bible. If it does, great! We can promote and share that teacher's work as much as we want, confident that we are sharing something good.
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But if it doesn't line up with what the Bible says about God? Then it is, as John calls it, wicked work, and we shouldn't be affiliating ourselves with it. Because the simple fact it, if it doesn't line up with the Bible, it's not the truth.

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