Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fakes and Counterfeits

I was listening to the radio this morning. There was a report about a bank that had taken delivery of a consignment of gold bars from a country in Africa. They were in the process of writing a letter of complaint to the government of the country because it turned out that the bars weren’t gold at all but bars of iron coated in a layer of gold. The subject of the report was about fakes and counterfeits. There was a counterfeiter who made such a good job of copying a twenty pound note that the bank of England couldn’t tell the difference and had to re-commission a new bank note altogether!

It reminded me of one of the very first articles I posted on the Faithwriters’ site many years ago.

100% Cashmere

Just over a month ago I got my eyes tested. I wasn’t told anything I didn’t already know. The glasses I had so tenaciously hung on to for years were no use. They were well past their sell by date and probably doing more harm than good. They were certainly no use for reading the labels on tins as I did my weekly shop in the supermarket.

Labels are amazing things. So many big claims in such small writing. A newspaper article that sticks in my mind highlighted the problem about labels. A certain brand of cashmere sweaters claimed to be 100% cashmere. It was boldly announced on the label, along with the instructions of how to wash said cashmere sweater. Tests later proved that it was not 100% at all but actually 95%. The last 5% was something else.

It made me wonder for a moment the nature of the test. What did they do to unravel the identity of the fake 5%? It made me wonder for a moment about the testee. What clues lead them to question the truth behind the label?

It made me wonder for a long time about the claims of other labels? What other things were being boldly announced as 100% the genuine article when all along there was a fake 5%?

When I surrendered to Jesus many years ago, I accepted a label. I live my life day by day before my friends and neighbours. They look and watch my every move, to see if what I have is worth it. As I deal with all that life throws at me – and it throws things quite forcefully, they look and watch my every reaction, to see if what I have makes a difference. I accepted a label but does the way I live my life match up to its claims? Every time I choose to climb a mountain of faith in my own strength I show the world a fake 5%. Every time I fail to turn the other cheek, every time I hold on to both my tunics with grasping fingers and every time I fail to turn away a harsh word with a gentle whisper, I show the world a fake 5%. God has written 100% on my label and given me the resources I need to be the genuine article.

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