Sunday, November 30, 2014
“WYSIWYG, acronym for What You See Is What You Get.” ― some nerd somewhere
We are so easily fooled by the world and the people around us. We tend to see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe. To us, an expert is someone on the television who agrees with how we feel—even if we are misguided or wrong. The picture of the watch at the right is an homage to a much more expensive watch. The watch in the picture costs about $100. The watch that looks just like it with a few words changed (and the insides as well) costs about $25,000.00. They both tell time with about the same accuracy, but one is made in China and makes no claim to be the original which is made in Switzerland. We are very used to that here. We have cars that are TOYOs and not Toyotas. We have oil companies called Moil and not Mobil. You can by a Bolex watch for about four dollars. We have learned not to judge something by its name but by its quality, something we somehow fail to do with our relationships with others. We judge by the external and not the internal, we judge by what others say about people and not by how those people have treated us. This is, of course, very wrong, but it is what we have known most of our lives. We have fallen for “bait and switch” advertising and just downright misleading ads. When I was a little boy, I saved my allowance for weeks to be able to spend on dollar to send off for three hundred army men. In the picture on the ad, they were made of plastic and could stand on their own. When they came, they arrived in a small, flat envelope made entirely of paper that that had to be cut out. I was crushed, but didn’t learn too much for I continued to fall for advertising like that for years to come. The sad thing, the hurtful thing, the thing that makes Christ ashamed of us, is that we do the same with people. We believe that they cannot change which is antithetical to everything Christ came to teach us about forgiveness, repentance, and having a clean heart created inside us. We accept blindly what others say about whole groups of people, about individuals, about our neighbors, about our coworkers—we are gullible, naive, and contribute to bullying and marginalization of children of God whom God tells us to love and treat with compassion. I saw a statement on Facebook where a man said that he was a Christian but would kill any immigrant child that crossed his property. I believe he would kill a child, but I don’t believe he is a Christian in any sense of the word. Christ came to bring love, peace, harmony, and an end to discord—where have we failed Him? Today is the first Sunday of Advent as we await the coming of the Prince of Peace. Seems a little hypocritical to await the Prince of Peace with hatred, loathing, and rage within our hearts. Christ doesn’t just accept what we say, He sees inside us to our secret heartfelt feelings. For Christ, WYSIWYG is how He will ultimately judge us. He has told us that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and that He will know us by our fruit. He has told us that if we bear fruit, He will prune us to bear even more, but He also told us that if we bear no fruit, we will be tossed aside and burned as useless. Make this Advent meaningful. Await the Prince of Peace by allowing peace to grow in your heart and bear much fruit. The world can be saved, but not by hatred, intolerance, ignorance, greed, or injustice. We must start within our own hearts. If WYSIWYG may Christ see Himself reflected in me and in you.