False advertising is illegal. That is why prescription drugs commercials now come with an alarming list of possible side effects so the customer can’t sue for withheld information. That, however, doesn’t prevent advertisers from making false promises. A box of raisins in my kitchen comes with a 100% happiness guarantee: “If you’re not satisfied with this product for any reason, please call us so we can make you 100% happy.” REALLY? Since when has anyone been able to do that?
While watching recent coverage of hurricane season, I was surprised to see the Weather Channel’s pledge to “keep you safe… in the storm”. Logically, that made no sense. How could they have anything to do with my safety, except to give me advance warning? Theologically, of course, it was a hollow promise, since you and I both know that there is only one Person who can keep us safe in the midst of a storm.
The Bible does not give us a happiness guarantee. In fact, Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) Ironically, my Bible often sits on the same table in the living room as the TV remote. It reminds me to make a conscious choice each day to focus on the truths of scripture and not the false promises of advertising executives.
II Peter 1:4 tells us that God has given us “his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” Now, that’s a promise we can really count on.