Getting Ahead: ‘Things may not be as they appear’


By John G. Pfeifer - Religion Writer



Today I received a very official looking envelope that had a case reference number on it. It got my attention because it looked like a court document. There was a phrase in the first paragraph that said: “Your loan has been flagged for internal review.”

At first glance it looked like internal revenue. Right below that section of the letter there was a highlighted line that drew my attention away from what I had just read, but not comprehended. It said: “WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE IMMEDIATELY”. 1. Locate your case number and call: xxx-yyy-zzzz. 2. Have information available: Case reference:/Subject property address:/Last four digits of your SS#:/Mortgage Statement. I then slowed down and carefully read the letter to find that it was a very clever way to get me to call a mortgage company that was soliciting my business.

Another letter I received was from a bank. It offered me an option of skipping a payment and all I had to do was send them $50. What they did not mention was that it would extend my loan by one more month for which there would be another month’s interest charge. We live in a day when deception has been accepted as a clever business practice or a political point of view. When I was a boy we were taught that leaving the wrong impression was a lie.

Is it OK to lead someone into something that they do not understand? Should we all have the ability to sort through the deception of the words in a letter or speech? Is there a guideline on how far to stretch the truth before it is a lie?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington Junior High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the lobby at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30 in the gymnasium. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 W. Court St. in Washington Court House.

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By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Writer