Your Fake $100

Fake $100As a pastor, I have no problem with people putting $100 bills into the offering. Except when they’re fake. Like this one.

When we deposited the church funds, the bank machine wouldn’t accept this bill. I thought it was because it was wrinkled or folded at the end. The machine wouldn’t accept a smoothed-out bill either. I brought it to a banker, who required all of five seconds to determine it was counterfeit.

The banker kindly said things like, “Look at the color…the paper…the lack of fine wavy lines…the sharpness of image…even the size is 1/16 inch too large all around.”

I said, “It’s old and wrinkled with a big crease in the middle. So it didn’t look that different from other old bills.”

She said, “That’s exactly what counterfeiters do. They crease and wrinkle the bill to make it look old so it’s not as noticeable.”

At least I got one thing sort of right.

She consoled me, “As counterfeits go, this is a pretty good one.”

So the church was out $100, and the bank sent the bill to the hot and fiery place of final examination and destruction where all bills of falsehood go.

Two weeks later we received a two-page document from the United States Secret Service, the final authority on genuineness and fakeness of US currency, and they said that yup, it’s a fake.

So I wondered: From the time the counterfeiting scoundrels made the fake bill, how many hands did it go through? And how many things did it buy? How many cash registers rang it up as $100? How many people were happy to receive it or spend it or put in the offering?

All seemed fine until it reached the bank. The bank knew.

And so it is with truth.

False ideas and beliefs can appear true and good and useful. And people can even benefit from them. But when they come up for the final test before the final authority of truth—and if you believe in God, you know what I’m talking about—they won’t pass, no matter how good the ride was.

Isn’t the world full of thing like this? Promises, hopes, fears, beliefs. Things that seem so sure may not be.

God’s Word is like a bank of truth. It will help you sort the real from the fake. Try it.