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.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Writer