I am a sucker for false advertising. When I die and you come to my estate sale (which will be held even if Dave survives me because he will be thrilled to get rid of my collections), you will see for yourself. Let’s start with recipe books. I have never seen a cookbook I did not like. Even if ingredients can be purchased only in Bangladesh, if the photos appear tasty, I buy the book. The problem? No dish I ever have made even remotely resembles the cookbook picture of how master chefs–and photo-shopping–make it appear.
Television gadgets target me. Zucchini shredders. Mosquito electrocuters. Bunion erasers. Microwave bacon dividers. Roto-rooter snakes. Canvas deck covers. Flashlights that illuminate all of New York City. Any pizza with stringy cheese. It’s all about the way the goodies are presented. Rarely do they measure up.
And how about books? Against my wishes, Dave bought me a Kindle so I (he) would not have to lug 200 pounds worth of books when we travel. I resisted, but once I gave it a chance, I was hooked. Then I signed up for BookBub. Every day three or four books are offered at super cheap prices. Unfortunately, few match their reviews or covers. Even Christian books disappoint. History books are way too…well, historical (and assume I already know a lot more about the past than I do). Occasionally I buy a humorous book. So far, they have all ended up in my “deleted” file. Surely I’m not the only one who wants funny without profanity and sex!
Then there are games. You know, the ones with covers that show loving families leaning in at the kitchen table, everyone laughing, making a lifetime memory. We can be that family, I used to tell myself, and we could be if even one of my kids could have been trusted as a banker or realtor or deck dealer. Or if one, unnamed son wouldn’t have tossed the game pieces to the ceiling or delighted in screaming “50 card pick-up” if there was the slightest chance he might not win. Or if I would have accepted “IT IS A WORD. IT IS A WORD. I DON’T CARE IF IT’S NOT IN THE DICTIONARY. TGKSU IS A WORD. IT IS. IT IS. IT IS.”
This past week, I drove seven hours to (among other things) check out a potential 2018 family Christmas gathering spot—a houseboat with photos that boasted a gourmet kitchen, a top-deck jacuzzi, its own small beach and enough room to sleep 12. I had all but clicked on the “Reserve Now Before It’s Gone” button before deciding to see it in person. Risking my life to walk on its pier, I actually strode past it, wondering how such a “condemned” boat hadn’t fallen apart and sunk, before realizing that was the one offered for rent.
False advertising at its best! And then my Scripture reading today shows that Jesus himself abhorred fakeness, only in this case, the finger wasn’t pointing at cookbooks or the television or books or games; it was pointed in my direction.
Matthew 23: 27– “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Notice that Jesus calls these naysayers “Hypocrites,” the word for Greek actors who placed a mask over their face to pretend to be someone they weren’t.
And because Scripture says we are all sinners, I assume you join me in the list of the guilty ones. We attend church, smiling at all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, after having just barked at someone in our family. We sing worship songs after sharing gossip about one of God’s children. We fail to share the gospel but have no problem wearing a decorative cross around our necks.
We look the part on the outside but need a major overhaul on the inside.
False advertisers should take notice.
I guess, in reality, that includes me.