Real or Fake?

(photo by Pure Julia on Unsplash)

Water bubbled over rocks, the scent of pine filling the air. We wanted to find gold. A dozen ten-year-olds laughed as we scooped the sand; our hands were cold and red as we raised our pans out of the icy stream. “Sift it and see what you find,” our Girl Scout leader encouraged. Sarah squealed. “Gold! I’ve found gold!” Determined to be the first to congratulate my new best friend, I stopped short when I saw her face. Sad and discouraged, she shook her head. “It’s not real. Our leader said it’s called pyrite—fool’s gold.” We stood together staring in disbelief at the sparkling gold flakes. Shrugging our shoulders, we went back to panning, believing there was still hope. The question remained. How will I know if the bits of rock in my pan are real or fake?

Memories of panning for gold came to mind when I read the news. A politician known for instigating hate and violence upon our nation’s capitol building is running for president. I did not understand how a majority of evangelical Christians could support this candidate in a previous election—until I remembered the pyrite.

Sadly, many are deceived by Christian nationalism and church leaders who encourage members to worship a political candidate more than God. Doing that will only lead to—you guessed it—fool’s gold.

My Girl Scout leader could have told Sarah the glitter in her pan was the real thing, but she told the truth. Even though Sarah would like to believe she had discovered gold, it was not fair to mislead her.

As a follower of Jesus, I don’t want to worship a person or political party over God. As a follower of Jesus, I don’t want to believe every false spirit, but intimately know my Lord so I can tell the difference between real and fake. (See 1 John 4:1)

I pray as we move closer to the 2024 elections that we study the candidates and compare them to Jesus. If the sparkle doesn’t match the real thing—sift again.

False prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:11) Don’t fall for fool’s gold—no matter how shiny it may appear on the surface.

6 responses to “Real or Fake?”

    • Thank you, Sandra. Sometimes there is a delay in your comment being posted because I need to approve the comments first. Keeps the “haters” away. Thanks for your patience in my response time…it’s been a bit busy here.


  1. So many are deceived by fool’s gold. May our eyes and heart be open to what is true gold vs. fake! Like you, I’d rather have the real. If it means I have to let go of a long held belief or disagree with the majority in order to embrace the truth, then so be it. Truth and Real is worth it.

    Therese Kay

    Visit my Amazon Author page!

    Creator of Journey Towards Health: A Health Record & Journal for Chronic Illness and Pain

    See my photography at


  2. Good write… good read.

    Fool’s gold.. a perfect metaphor for the problem.  


    div>Love how with childhood innocence you create the dilemma we all face.  Where is truth?   And place Jesus central


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