There is nothing like finding a valuable antique treasure like this Griswold cast iron pan. There is a thrill in knowing that you have found and sometimes rescued something special and of value. That thrill is quickly turned to disappointment when you find out, as my kids did, that they bought a fake.
This cast iron toy skillet is marked “Griswold,” which is the crème de la crème of vintage cast iron brands. As such, there are fakes. So, as they held this pan, we talked about how to spot a fake. That conversation turned from spotting fake pans to spotting fake people. The trick in collecting antiques and in living life is the same: learning how to spot a fake.
Matthew 7:15 says, “Watch out for false prophets. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
This is a real Griswold. Note the clean lines, crisp lettering, and good cast.
In our lives, there are people that genuinely care about us. They want the best for us. They want to see us succeed. Those people are like finding the genuine, valuable antiques. They bring joy untold. Finding those people is worth the treasure hunt. Like this pan, their markings are true. This real Griswold makes the one that we bought look like a piece of trash. Its markings are clear, its surface like glass. Genuine people have markings that are real and stands through inspection.
However, there are those that are fakes. They may be fake in Christian doctrine and trying to persuade us to join them by using lies about scripture. Maybe they are fake friends and are merely using us for their gain only to discard us later.
This is our counterfeit Griswold. Note the bubbly, sloppy looking lettering,
False prophets, teachers, and friends are all dangerous, because they pretend and seem to be genuine. Our fake pan has the markings of a Griswold. It even has a model number that is valid. However, upon closer inspection, we find that there are things that are off. First, the quality of the iron is just not good. The logo and the writing look “bubbly”. It isn’t crisp like real Griswold skillets. The surface is not smooth and milled, instead its uneven,unrefined.
Our friends, teachers, and leaders all have markings, “brands” if you will. Sometimes they are labeled as “caring”, but when we look closer it is scrawled and of poor quality because it is fake. Do they pretend to care, only to desert when needed or when they don’t get the public credit? We need to be brand inspectors. Do their brands and markings look like the real thing or is it a bit off? Even Satan in the Garden of Evil mixed his lies with a bit of truth. With friends, ask yourself if they are trying to gain by being your friend. Find out their motives. Does the quality of their markings match who they are? Do they say they are their friend, but lead you toward evil? Are you often getting in to trouble because of the reassurance of a “friend”? For teachers and prophets, also do a motive check. Does their words match their works? Are they teaching generosity but greedy in their ministry? Are they using just enough scripture to get you to do what they want? Pray that God will give you discernment.
My prayer for my kids and for you, is that God will teach you to spot a fake. For me, our pan looked pretty good, until I was able to compare it to the real thing. After I saw what the real thing looked like, I recognized our fake as trash. God has given us the real deal to look at in the person of Jesus. The more we know Him and spend time with Him, the better we will be at spotting fakes. Compare your friends, your teachers, your leaders to Christ. Do their markings match up? If not, they are fakes. Treat them as such. Guard your heart.