Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit. (Hosea Ballou)
The 'counterfeit of happiness' - what might that look like? I daresay a good many of us know perfectly well what it looks like because we only have to look as far as the mirror to see the counterfeit on display. Many times we are in pursuit of what others tout as 'happiness' in some form or another, only to find it never really leaves us satisfied when we achieve it. It is when we finally lay down the pursuit of happiness and begin to pursue the one who provides true joy that we begin to realize the picture in the mirror has changed.
Don’t bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked. In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings and wilt like cut flowers in the sun. Get insurance with God and do a good deed, settle down and stick to your last. Keep company with God, get in on the best. (Psalm 37:1-4)
The price of the 'counterfeit' isn't always immediately recognized. If you have ever received a counterfeit bill in some exchange of money, you rarely can tell the difference, but try to deposit it into your account or spend it at a later date and you will find that 'exchange' cost you dearly. You are out whatever you 'exchanged' for the counterfeit, and you have nothing of 'true value' because you only possess the counterfeit. The counterfeit is merely a cleverly disguised thing designed to 'dupe' us into believing we have received something of value.
Let me ask you when was the last time that you really stopped to consider if you were pursuing things or relationships that merely promised happiness, but proved to be a little bit of a let down in the end? Maybe it is just dawning on you today that you have been pursuing something that promised one thing, but really has not proven trustworthy. As disappointing as it is to recognize we have accepted a counterfeit, it is even more disappointing to hold onto it in the belief it will some day prove to be worth the cost!
God doesn't issue counterfeits. He doesn't have the need to create something that is a clever dupe. His promises are trustworthy. His grace is steadfast and unwavering. His truth stands up against all scrutiny. His love transcends anything we have experienced in the natural. His standards don't lower to keep up with the times. He issues no counterfeits. Honesty is a hallmark of his character and he will not change his character. Just sayin!