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March 5, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | March 5

False Advertising

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life— comes not from the Father but from the world.  1 John 2:16

Remember the Mercury Merkur? You probably don’t, since this sports car was imported from Germany only from 1985 to 1989. But thanks to its European styling and four-cylinder, turbocharged electronic fuel injection engine, the speedy Merkur became a cult car in the latter half of the 1980s.

The fact that I was newly married (with a new baby and living in an apartment) might have you thinking that this wasn’t the most practical car to drive off a dealer’s lot. But I had been tooling around in a boring maroon Chevy Celebrity, and I wanted some real wheels. Sure enough, I found a black Xr4Ti with my name on it at a local dealership. After all, you are what you drive, aren’t you?

I look back at what I did then and shake my head. First, what a sucker I was! I really thought a car loaded with sex appeal that cornered well would fundamentally alter my identity and happiness. Second, what a financial nightmare I entered into! My impulse buy created impulse debt as I repaired and rebuilt the entire bucket of bolts over the next five years. By that time you could have stamped a big red L for loser on my forehead.

I’m sure we can all look back at the way our minds deceived us into being tricked by the world and its false advertisements. The ping pong table that’s warping on the back patio? The purchase of that riding mower (even though your lawn is only 2,000 square feet)? That pair of $500 sunglasses you lost at the beach (after a week)? It really does give us the want to read the label more closely. 

How much better off would we be if we’d only looked at the overall impact of our actions? It might be good to check our identity at the door of Hooters. And it might be helpful to imagine that big red L on your forehead the next time you are tempted to accept the false advertisement, whatever it is.

Father, thank you for reminding me that in You there is no sucker’s deal or bait and switch. Help me depend upon Your wisdom in my decisions today.

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