Today, I saw something that freaked me out. Really. I was in a gift shop looking for a wedding gift when I turned a corner and caught a glimpse of a puppy all curled up and sleeping on a pillow. Then I looked below him, and there was a yellow striped kitten sleeping on another cozy bed. When I looked closer, however, I realized these napping pets were not pets at all. They were fake! And to make it even creepier, their stomachs were moving up and down in a breathing motion. I said right out loud, “They’re breathing!” The store clerk looked at me and nodded her head. I looked closer and couldn’t stop myself from touching the fur. It looked so real!
But it wasn’t real. I looked again, closer. Nope. Not real. Again, I spoke aloud, “This is so sad. I can’t believe people would settle for a fake pet.”
The clerk nodded in agreement. “I don’t like it either,” she said. “I’d rather have the real thing.”
Me too. As I took one more look at the yellow kitten, I said, “It really freaks me out.”
Again, the clerk nodded.
As I continued my shopping I wondered just what it was that bothered me so much about those counterfeit pets. I think it’s that they appear to be able to offer affection and warmth and companionship, but in reality they are completely void of any lasting worth. As cute as they look, they are a setup for false love and an empty relationship.
Isn’t that what Satan does? It is said that for every genuine gift God gives, Satan provides a counterfeit. It’s true. God gives the gift of delicious, healthy food. Satan provides junk food. God gives the gift of intimacy between husband and wife. Satan provides lust. God gives the gift of Sabbath. Satan provides a counterfeit. God provides the institution of marriage. Satan provides shacking up. The list goes on and on. And just as with the counterfeit pets, Satan’s counterfeits appear at first glance to be genuine, attractive, and satisfying. But in the end, they are empty and cold.
A very wise man once said, “I have lived God’s way and I have lived Satan’s way. God’s way is best.”