As a consumer, have you ever felt cheated by products that didn’t live up to their advertised features and benefits?
Even the youngest consumers can experience the kind of disappointment which turns to resentment—for the company/product that perpetrated the duping or for allowing oneself to be duped.
Years later, I still remember most vividly our son’s visceral reaction the first time he experienced the anti-product duping reaction.
It was Christmas Day. Santa had delivered the coveted most popular action toy of the season (with a little help from me, who had traveled near and far, putting myself on every waiting list possible so that my little darling would not be disappointed).
Despite our best efforts (Santa’s and mine), the little cherub was decidedly disappointed when he tried to replicate–unsuccessfully!–what he had seen the toy do, time after time, in television commercials.
Interestingly, he didn’t turn to me to say his particular toy was defective. No, he cast aside that toy forever more, angry that the commercial had lied to him.
At the time I wondered if our son were the only disappointed child, and I the only disappointed (to say nothing of exhausted!) shopper that Christmas morning?
The next time the commercial aired, I watched more closely. Had there been false advertising I should report to someone?
At the commercial’s end, I had to admit not—no false advertising …At the same time, I noticed that the camera angle surely had created an illusion that understandably led our son to think that the toy had zoomed off, amid a puff of smoke, out of the child’s hand, on a path of its own out into the distance.
As a learning experience, in retrospect, I noticed, the product disappointment was a good one for our little one.
Made him skeptical, cynical in fact, about product advertising.
That got me thinking about what we can count on. Inasmuch as a commercial is a promise of delivery, it’s easy to feel angry when we allow ourselves to be duped, especially as adults who should know better.
Jesus promised that there would be wolves in sheep’s clothing purposely trying to do us in; yet we shouldn’t become hardhearted.
We should stay gentle, yet wise, not allowing ourselves to be misled, but sticking close to Him, following His protective lead.
With so much of the cheapening of the word; with so much purposeful false advertising, it is a blessing to have God’s assurance that His word is honest. He keeps His promises. He will never disappoint us. Among His many promises, He promised us He would be our Good Shepherd.
So, I’m wondering, have I falsely advertised Him? Have I kept my promises? I’m yearning to be honest in my relationship with Him and with others in Him.