I'm not against nice things if one can afford them. I'm not against name brands, again if someone can afford them. So naturally one of the saddest/most intriguing things to me is the purse stands that sell "knock off" bags. I am fully aware of the pressures to fit in, but hear me out.
As "Christians" we believe or say we believe that:
1) Our identity is found in Christ
2) We are to be in this world but not of it
3) It's important to be authentic
4) People will know us by our love
We also post things like "be a diamond in a world of glitter" and get tons of likes and reposts. Why? Because the very foundation of our faith is: A perfect God created, sent His son to die and rose again for a, very imperfect world. So what does that have to do with fake purses, I'm getting there.
People will do whatever it takes to fit in and Christians are not exempt from this but maybe that is why we see churches full of shallow faith and the rest of the world pointing their fingers and laughing because not a whole lot sets us truly apart.
Back to the bag. What goes through someone's mind when they reach for that fake Michael Kors or the fake Louis Vuitton? 1)I want one of these so bad but I can't afford it. 2) This looks real and no one would be able to tell the difference etc. 3) I would never pay that price for my teenagers bag but I want them to fit in! So, I will buy them this hoping the mean girls of life don't bust them out!
That's a big red flag to me as it should be to all of us. We are basically saying that authenticity is relative. We should always tell the truth but it's ok to wear or carry a lie. To some, this may be a petty thing. However, my friend told me a story and gave me permission to share it. She and her husband pastor a church. She was out shopping with her girlfriend's and saw a fake Fendi. She had always wanted one but couldn't afford it. Her friends talked her into buying it.
That following week she carried it to church. She walked through the church greeting people and plopped it down next to her on the front row. A lady came up to her afterwards and told her she liked her purse. My friend said she began to feel guilty. She said her brain began to go crazy. She thought, "I don't want this lady to think we are using church money to buy elaborate purses!" Then she thought, "I could say it was a gift, but that would be a lie. Wait a minute, we get a salary! I can do what I want with my money! But wait, I don't want her to think the church is giving us a salary like that! After all we are a young church!" She continued with an inner monologue until she blurted out "It's fake, but don't tell anyone!" The lady looked at her and awkwardly laughed, then walked away.
She couldn't believe she told her that. She threw the purse away because it bothered her so much. My friend later said "It made me sick, Amber. I don't want to preach, represent or wear that message...ever." Hear me out when I say she is an incredible person and I love her heart! Unfortunately I think it's far too common. I'm not just talking about purses but life in general. "it's fake, but don't tell anyone!"
There is NOTHING wrong with having nice things but we need to question our theology if we are buying or being anything fake to fit into a world we were meant to stand out in.