My wife helps teach in our church’s preschool in the class for 4-year-old children. She loves it and is always being surprised by the observations the children make. Little Gracie is in the class, and Gracie is always easy to spot because she has a beautiful head of red hair.
This last week the children were sitting in a row watching an activity going on. My wife was sitting behind the children and over heard when a little 4-year-old boy leaned over to Gracie and ask, “Do you dye your hair?” Gracie turned to him and said, “No, it’s all my own.”
The question is: What prompted the little guy to ask the question? Obviously, Gracie’s hair is different from most of the other kids. It would seem likely though that he knows someone who dyes their hair.
Often in our world today it’s hard to know what is real and what is not real. People do a great job of disguising things as well as themselves. Most of the time only the outside is changed, which disguises what lies underneath. Obviously many people do this, that’s why “plastic” surgeons make a good living. That’s why cosmetic companies thrive and clothing companies work hard to design the latest trendy clothing. We want to look good and feel good about ourselves.
Sometimes we wonder what is real and what is not in the religious world, don’t we? There are hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of churches, (religious belief’s) in our world. How can we know what is real and what is not. Most everybody in our county knows about Jim Jones and his “church.” They know the meaning of the phrase, “drinking the Kool-Aid” also. Jim Jones was the church leader who convinced 918 of his followers to drink Kool-Aid with cyanide in it and kill themselves. We think about that and wonder, “How could then not realize this was not God’s message for His church today?” “How could they not know this was not real?”
If you look at the person next to you, can you tell if they dye their hair? It’s a silly question I know, but unless it is a really bad dye job, you may not be able to tell. However, if you worked with hair on a daily basis you most probably could tell immediately what is real or what was not.
There is a way to discover the truth though isn’t there… by study, by exposure, but being instructed. In John 8:32 Jesus said, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In John 17:17 we read, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth,” (NIV) “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” (NLT) You see, if you spend enough time with God’s Word, you will be able to recognize what is real and what is not.
As you look at your life, is it real or is it fake? Do you dye your spiritual life (change it on the outside) to make it look good to others, or is it really you? Are you drinking the Kool-Aid, just because someone gives it too you, or are you able to tell what is real?
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.