10/25/05

Encouragement for Today

 

“False Advertising”

Susanne Scheppmann, Co-editor Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

John 1:47, “When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." (NIV)

 

Devotion:

A small car sped alongside my van.  Hundreds of money-green dollar signs were painted against the car’s white exterior.  I noticed the name of a local bank displayed prominently between the dollar insignias.  Ah ha – what a clever way to advertise!

 

As we pulled to a stop at a red light, I spied very small black writing.  The fine print read, “Warning: This car carries no money, only documents.”  The thought struck me, “With all those dollars signs everywhere, I think that might be classified as false advertising.”  The money promised from the outside held no reality on the inside.

 

This made me pause and reflect on my own life.  How often do I display “false advertising” to other people around me?  Let me reveal three of my most common fraudulent appearances.

 

  1. I argue with my husband all the way to church.  Then as my car door opens to our church friends, I paste a big toothy smile on my face.  My grin implies, “My marriage is perfect.”

 

  1. I bump into an acquaintance at the grocery store.  I ask, “How are you?”  (I really don’t care and just want to get on with my day.)  My pretense of a caring friend falls flat as I glance at my watch as she begins to tell me her woes.

 

  1. I recite Scripture, attend a Bible study and exhibit outward behaviors of a model Christian woman.  However, on the inside I detect a few ungodly attitudes that mock me when I look in the mirror.

 

I know this is not how Christ wants me to function.  He desires authenticity in every area of my life.  I want to have His approval just as Nathanael did.  Let’s look at the passage where our Key Verse is found.

 

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."

 

"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked.

 

Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."

 

Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."

 

Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that."  He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:47-51, NIV)

 

Although I know I will never be perfect this side of heaven, I do want to rid myself of “false advertising.”  I long for an inward attitude that matches my outward sponsorship of the Christian life.  I want Jesus to be able to say of me, “There is Susanne, a true Christian in whom there is nothing false."

                                                                                                                 

A favorite verse from The Message reminds me to sweep clean my life of falsity.

 

1 Peter 2:1-3, “So clean house!  Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk.  You've had a taste of God.  Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness.  Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God.”

 

Each phrase of this motivates me.  I need to examine myself for symptoms of malice, pretense, envy, and hurtful talk.  I need to stay close to God and become a mature Christian in His eyes and an authentic Christian to others.  I truly desire genuineness with who I am when I look in the mirror.

 

Let’s take this challenge together today.  Let’s wipe false advertising from our behaviors.  Then Jesus will exclaim, “Look at her!  There is nothing false about her!”

 

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Lord Jesus, I want to please You in all that I say and do.  Teach me to be authentic.  Reveal to me where I might draw on “false advertising” when I am around other people.  Help me to be like Your friend, Nathanael.  I ask this in Your Precious Holy Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:  

Write John 1:47 on an index card.  Write your first name in the place of “Nathanael” and position the card on your mirror.  You will have a daily reminder to rid yourself of any “false advertising” that you might be tempted to display to others.  Ask God each morning for authenticity in your daily encounters with others.

 

 

Reflection Points:       

Do I hide bitterness, malice or envy on the inside of myself?

 

In what situations am I most likely to display “false advertising”?

 

What can I do to help rid myself of undesirable hidden attitudes?

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 24:3-4, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?   Who may stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 13:5, “The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked bring shame and disgrace.” (NIV)

                                   

Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (NIV)

 

Colossians 3:8, “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources: 

The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_ultimateMakeover.htm

 

Living Life on Purpose, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_livingLife.htm

 

Intimate Moments with God, by select authors

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_intimateMoments.htm