Switched Up

I read a story about a mischievous teenager who decided to play a joke on a local store owner. So, one evening he crept into his showroom and switched the price tags on the merchandise.

Antique Price Tags 3 (2)When he was finished with his prank, the coats on the bargain rack were priced as if they were expensive name brands, and the luxurious furs were ridiculously under-valued. Designer purses were under $20 while poorly-made, imported canvas backpacks and book bags were tagged with triple digit prices. Fine diamond jewelry was undervalued while costume necklaces would set customers back a month’s wages.

The effect of the teen’s evening was to invert the intent of the owner by diminishing that which was of great worth and exaggerating things of little value.

imagesWhile the vandal in our story likely didn’t fool anyone for very long and probably meant no real harm, we have a REAL enemy in our world who isn’t toying around with us. (John 10:10) The Bible calls him the ‘father of lies,’ (John 8:44) and he maliciously and tirelessly works against the Owner of the world (Ps. 24:1) by subtly, and at times forcefully, “switching the tags” in an effort to confuse the world and lead them astray.

God has assigned high value to things such as faith, commitment, patience, generosity, forgiveness and selflessness. But the enemy of our souls changes it around and tells us that these virtues won’t lead to the happiness and success that we desire and thus are of little value. Many have fallen for his trick and have disregarded these treasured virtues for things of little real worth like status, materialism, and self-centeredness.

price smallAll of us make a multitude of decisions every day. Some choices, like whether to have a bagel or muffin for breakfast, are inconsequential (except to our waistline). But others can have far-reaching consequences with the power to alter the course of our lives and shape who we become for years into the future. That’s why God’s people must learn to build our lives with what is precious and discard low quality things that don’t have lasting power.

Ultimately, we all know that inflated price tags don’t really add to the worth of junk because in the end, costume jewelry is still costume jewelry. After a few wearings, the colored stones become cloudy and the finish tarnishes. But we can trust that the real stuff – material  and spiritual – will eventually prove itself and continue to shine for generations.

 The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
~ Proverbs 13:9


9 thoughts on “Switched Up

  1. Great post Karen! I love the way you compared the teenager’s behaviors with the evil one. It is so true! This is such a good reminder for us to think about what we really value and what is really valuable in this world. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

    1. It’s so easy to be distracted by the trinkets of this world and overlook the really valuable things God gives to us and for us. Thanks for the encouragement, Kathy!

  2. Interesting thoughts Karen. How often do we, like the “mischievous teenager”, do our own “switching” of price tags on virtue, character, integrity? We become fearful of what other people might think of our thoughts…our Christian values, so we change the price tags. We don’t want people to be offended, go to another store to shop for something less valuable. Thank you for your insight.

    1. The only way we really hang onto what really valuable is to stay close to the truth! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mel! Always enjoy reading your comments.

  3. Good, wise thoughts. Too often, we convince ourselves that we can have it all — we can be humble AND brilliantly successful; trusting and very rich; wise and witty. And of course, there’s nothing that says the latter choice precludes the former — our problem comes when we chase after the latter choice — because we prefer it — and are confident that the former one will come as well. And if it doesn’t, well, I guess it doesn’t matter, we convince ourselves.
    You hit the nail articulately and accurately.

    1. I think you’re right. the pursuit is the catch. what are we really trying to get? if we answer that question according to the world, we’ll miss the target even if we get what we want.

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