Today’s culture probably would call her a packrat at best and a hoarder at worst. But I prefer to think of my grandmother as a resourceful steward. As a young bride during the Great Depression, Grandma kept everything – rubber bands, safety pins, and bobby pins. As she aged she still kept everything and then some – puzzles, games, and word and number search books. And even though she passed away while I was in junior high, I was working on one of those recently.
It is so tempting to find the first three numbers in the puzzle and think: “Eureka! I have found it!” Only to keep going (sometimes after making a partial circle around them) and realize the rest of the numbers don’t match. It is such a letdown. It’s the wrong one. It is obvious. The list says 35463 not 35473.
“It’s only one number off.” Some could rationalize circling it anyway. But we all know it is an imposter – the real one is still in the puzzle…somewhere.
Imposters exist in life too. “This movie/book looks like good, wholesome fun.” Only to get thirty minutes in and to realize it is cluttered with dirty language and lust.
“This hobby is no big deal.” Only to get three weeks in and realize it is sucking more and more time and energy from your relationships that really matter.
“He/She looks like a committed Christian.” Only to get three months into a relationship and realize that is just one face they put on.
They were all imposters.
But praise God -- just like the number search -- life also has a list of what to look for to avoid imposters. By their fruits you will know them, Jesus proclaimed. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, Paul elaborated (Galatians 5:22).
“Is this movie/book going to help me be more loving and joyful?” Pause.
“Is this hobby going to allow me to grow in peace and patience?” Ummm.
“Is this relationship encouraging me in goodness and self-control?” Hmmm.
“Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” -- Jesus (Matthew 7:20)
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