Somehow many of my old comic books survived my childhood. No telling how wealthy some of us would be had our mother not thrown away our comics collections. Mine escaped her diabolical clutches. Some of the comics I have are as old as 45 years—nearly as old as me! When I first started collecting them, they cost 12 cents. They are worth much more than that now.
I loved to read them. One of the things that fascinated me beyond the story and artwork was the ads—all sorts of wild and weird things you could buy (like onion gum and soap that turned your face black when you washed with it). Most of the items were cheap. But my weekly income was only 50 cents for push mowing a two-acre lawn under a scorching sun—and I spent all that on comic books! Even if I wanted to order something, my Dad said, “You’re wasting your money. That’s just junk.” But, I knew better.
You could order this powder to mix up and drink and it would turn you from a 145 pound weakling into a muscular dynamo in only two weeks! I mean, the proof was right there in the picture. I only weighed 145, so this was very appealing. After whining more than a puppy wanting a dog biscuit, I finally talked my Dad into getting me some of that high protein muscle building drink. It didn’t work in 2 weeks! I didn’t gain a pound. I guess it contained a time release formula as I have finally gotten over being skinny.
Then there was this Monster Ghost I ordered—guaranteed to scare the daylights out of people. It floated, moved and responded to your commands—all for only a dollar. Now, who wouldn’t enjoy hearing their mother, sister and friends scream (maybe even faint) in fright? So, I ordered it. How excited I was to go to the mailbox and open this treasure of terror when it arrived after the promised 4-6 week delivery. It was a balloon head attached to a big garbage bag and with a nylon thread you could make it move by tugging on it! That cost me two week’s wages! Rip off!
How fitting on this President’s Day that we recall Honest Abe’s words, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” I’ll add this, “You can’t fool God any time.”
But people try. They may try so hard as to even fool themselves. That’s the kind of folks, Paul talked about in Romans 2:17-3:8. They were extremely religious people who advertised that they were saints when, as God saw them, they were really sinners. Religion can clean up the outside, but leaves us dirty on the inside. Could it be that some of you reading these words might be in that category? You are guilty of false advertising. It’s time to get honest with God. “What can wash away my sin? Nothing, but the blood of Jesus.”