Last week, I was shopping in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. It is truly an incredible site. One can find anything from key chains, to gold bracelets, to soccer (football) jerseys, to authentic Ottoman antiques. However, there is a problem:
Some of the merchandise is fake.
I asked one of my close Turkish friends, “How can I know whether or not an item is real?”
To which he replied, “Noah, why does it matter? The fake ones are much cheaper and also look nice.”
“Why does it matter? I responded. “It matters because if it is real you know about its quality, how it was made, how it is guaranteed and if you can rely on it. The cheap ones may look nice, but they may not last a week! There are dozens of impostsers, but the real one is the best one.”
Later, I thought about how much this is true in my life. There are dozens of things that claim they will bring me satisfaction, purpose or happiness and to bring them cheaper, easier and more often. They pose as the items I am searching for, but they are imposters. They will not satisfy, but leave me empty. Paul says that those who seek after these things are following “deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22). They are deceitful because they claim to be something they are not.
I do not want a pair of shoes that say NIIKE or Adibas. I want something authentic. I want this in life too. I do not want to settle for the cheap imposter. God alone offers lasting satisfation, joy and true purpose. Why settle for anything less than an authentic relationship with God?