There was once a man who took a walk around the streets of a big city. He stumbled upon a flea market where various odds and ends were sold. He chanced upon a really beautiful Chinese urn in one of the stalls selling antiques. He happened to be a connoisseur of antiques. He knew that this is a rare find. He decided to buy the jar without even haggling for the price. He paid a fortune for it and took it home.
At home, he placed the jar in the middle of his house just near his favorite chair. He thought that the urn was lovely. It was white porcelain inlaid with blue Chinese characters and some scenes from a distant past. He sat down to stare at it for a long time. He was really pleased with his acquisition. Suddenly, his smile turned into a frown.
“Wait a minute,” he said to himself. “This centerpiece and table seem to be an odd pair with this beautiful jar. I guess I should replace the table. ”
The next day, he found a table and a centerpiece that fits the color and style of the pottery. He replaced his table and put the centerpiece on top and carefully placed the jar.
Once again, he sat down to admire his acquisition. He seemed amused. Suddenly, he figured that the curtain near the window across his chair did not match the jar. He thought it was an eyesore from his vantage point. So he rummaged through his old curtains but none would match. He decided to go back to the flea market to buy a matching curtain.
The man brought home a set of new curtains, and a new carpet in tow for the floor. He knew these would really match the view and the feel around the jar. He set the carpet first on his living room floor. Then he got his step ladder so he could hang his new curtain. At that moment, he turned around to admire the jar once more. His smile once more turned into a frown. His favorite chair and couch seemed to be off when the jar is there. It seemed that couch and the chair looked dingy when the jar is placed in front of it.
The next day, a truck pulled over the man’s drive way. A chair and a couch were delivered right in front of his doorsteps. These matched his jar. He was satisfied with the acquisition he got from the online store. He once more sat in peace until he found out that the color of his whole room does not seem to match the jar. The color seemed to make the room dim. The lighting on his living room also seemed to put little emphasis on the jar. He decided to call the painters and decorators to change the color and design of his living room so that the jar could be highlighted.
Finally, the man was able to sit on his new chair amidst his new living room to admire the jar. The process took weeks but the man was patiently instructing his workers on what to do. He did a lot of changes until he was satisfied.
This is called the Diderot effect. This was a state wherein one purchase leads to a series of consumption that often times are beyond one’s buying capability. This effect began with Denis Diderot, the philosopher and compiler of the first encyclopedia. For his efforts, the queen gave him a new robe. This new robe was so fine, he deemed everything in his house inferior compared to his robe. Thus, he replaced everything in his house until he went bankrupt.
The Bible tells a similar story of a man who saw a pearl of great price. ““Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 13:45-46 NLT)
This is what happens when one finds Christ. The person would see everything as worthless compared to Christ. Every achievement or goal in life is nothing compared to that moment when you could see Jesus face to face. More so, that the person would slowly and surely change everything around him to fit and accommodate Jesus Christ in his life. He will see all of his desires and wants as incompatible to Jesus’ character and attitudes that the person will do what it takes to change. When we have placed Christ in our hearts, it will have an effect similar to the Diderot effect. Every action, habit, and mannerism would have to go to change for the better because Christ is now the new center of the person’s life. This is the Christ effect. Try it today, it is not as expensive as Diderot’s effect because everything has already been paid in full. Try to meet Jesus Christ and put Him in your hearts, the effect is satisfying and joyful.