I believe almost every person over the age of 18 years old has heard, “If it’s too good to be true, run from it.” I can’t imagine how many times I have heard this throughout my life. But there was one particular time when this statement really caused me to think deeply about this subject. One night, well over 15 years ago, we were watching a young preacher on television who happened to be preaching to over 10,000 people locally and also to a world wide television audience. In his sermon he began to refer to the subject of “too good to be true” and then made the exact statement I wrote above.
As soon as he said this and expanded on his point, I began to think about the message he was preaching. He was preaching about something too good to be true. From the pulpit he said I needed to follow a man who lived 2000 years ago, sacrificed His own life for me, died and rose again, ascended to the right hand of an almighty God, and offers me forgiveness of my sins and eternal life with Him in Heaven if I only repent and believe this “too good to be true” story.
The good news is that I truly believe what he was preaching! He was in fact preaching about Jesus, which is too good to be true, yet very true. How amazing is it that I can be redeemed from a life of bad choices and immoral acts? I can be forgiven for my lying, cheating, stealing, and manipulation of circumstances and people during my younger years, before I surrendered my life to Jesus as Lord in 1998. It is hard to describe not only how too good to be true it is, but even harder to describe how magnificent my life has been since then.
The same principle should hold true with the decisions you make in life. Let’s consider the person you are going to marry one day. If you are goal oriented and have written a list of characteristics you are looking for in your future spouse, are you listing mediocre things? Are you making sure that your spouse will not end up being too good to be true? If so, you are probably hoping for a not-so-smart person to come in to your life versus a brilliant person. You probably need to hope for an unattractive person because you really don’t want to be let down. You may want to make sure that your future spouse is argumentative so that your marriage won’t be as perfect as it would be for a too good to be true scenario. Overall, you really need to shift your thinking to how the world says you should think. And that is, if he or she looks too good to be true, run from them!
How about your future career choice? You might want to be open to looking for a mediocre career that pays a mediocre salary. Most people are content with mediocre because when they settle for mediocre, they won’t be disappointed. They are merely deciding to be very average and blend in with 97% of the population who make sure that they don’t get fooled by an opportunity that looks too good to be true.
How do we handle our investments? When we are presented an investment opportunity to multiply our finances, should we only look at investments that look average? Should we only invest in things that yield an insignificant return? That seems realistic, doesn’t it? Why would we ever invest in something that looks too good to be true? It couldn’t possibly be true because it looks too good.
So, what is true? Only average is true? Only mediocre is true? Only something not looking good is true? Where and when did this statement get etched in to the minds of the bulk of the population today?
Perhaps we should change our thinking on this subject. In actuality, we should be looking for things that seem too good to be true. It should be instinctive for us to be drawn to things that are too good to be true. Whether it is Jesus, our future spouse, a financial endeavor, or a career choice, we should first be looking for it too look too good to be true. Secondly, we should take steps to validate whether it (whatever “it” is) is really true or not.
So, if it’s Jesus, then get in God’s Word and read the Bible for yourself and find out how true He is. If it’s your future spouse, you have to walk out that relationship through a friendship and courtship in order to get to know that person more intimately, then decide whether or not they are good and true. If it’s an investment, do your due diligence and check out the investment opportunity more thoroughly after you have become so excited about it initially. Personally, I have made some really bad investments that looked too good to be true. What I failed to do was to research those particular investments thoroughly after my initial excitement and got taken for a ride. Now this raises the question of whose fault this is: it was my fault! I was the one who did not research what I needed to research before I dumped tens of thousands of dollars into a bad investment deal that was supposed to produce millions more. I am an American. I live in America. We have a free enterprise system, and as an adult American, I have the opportunity to invest in business ventures of my choosing. I also have to assume the risks involved, and this requires due diligence in every situation. But why in the world would I want to sit around the table and listen to something that’s not too good to be true?
If it’s not too good to be true, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. It’s not worth any of my time. If it’s not too good to be true, it looks like it lacks truth. That instantly causes me to pull back from the situation or scenario.
I have even heard this statement for so many years regarding direct sales, or network marketing. “If it sounds too good to be true, run from it!” Maybe that’s why everyone who says that is still living the mediocre, are broke, or are miserable. I saw an opportunity in the direct selling industry to earn substantial income and it looked way too good to be true. The unique thing about it was that it was true, and the more I got involved, the more I realized it was way too good and it was very true. And because of that I wanted the whole world to know. The problem is that 97% of the population has been fed the lie that if it looks too good to be true, you need to run from it. This is an unhealthy approach to life on all fronts.
No one needs to be preaching this kind of message from the pulpit, and no one needs to be teaching this kind of philosophy from a the front of a classroom or the front of a stage. What needs to be taught is how to look for things that seem too good to be true, but also how to take proper steps beyond one’s initial excitement to validate what has been presented to them.
What you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t research properly can cost you dearly. What you run from that looks too good may be the very thing that God has orchestrated for your life’s design. Be careful what you judge and be careful how you judge it. Jesus said that the measure in which we judge will be measured back unto us, meaning that the criticism and cynicism that we dish out will come back to us in the same measure from others.
I encourage you to take on the mindset or philosophy that, “If it looks too good to be true, keep pursuing it!” That doesn’t mean throw all your money in to it. That doesn’t mean, just walk into a trap. That doesn’t mean, dive in as deep as you can right now. It means, don’t turn your back on it before you find out more details. Take calculated risks! Do your research! And doing your research doesn’t mean reading haters opinions at the top of Google. Don’t ever trust a stranger’s negative opinion of someone or something that you read from Google. How could you dare believe someone spewing negative venom about someone or something when you have no idea how that person is or was ever connected to them/it? Most critics are critics from afar and are not related to any of the inner workings of someone’s life in whom they are bashing. Or they are not related in any way to whatever it is that they are bashing on Google, so don’t use ridiculous sources like this to discredit the validation process your “too good to be true.”
Think about it, most people miss their “too good to be true” in many areas of life because the first person they talk to instantly shoots them down because it sounds “too good to be true.” Therefore our wonderful friend or family member wants to make sure and protect us from something that sounds or looks too fantastic. Or, you get excited about something and Google it, and the negative opinions of PEOPLE IN WHOM YOU DO NOT KNOW ARE YOUR EXPERTS that helped you turn away from what looked really fantastic. Have you ever thought about how many people have trusted mentally unqualified, unstable, and bitter people on the internet who make it their life mission to tear other people down when they don’t even know them? I am amazed at the stories I’ve heard through the years of people turning away from “too good to be true” scenarios based upon one google search with an article of misinformation and criticism from someone who truly knew nothing about the subject.
The goods news about research and google today is that you can find out a lot of really good, honest, and truthful information by searching the internet. The bad news is that you can be influenced by negative opinions of others about subjects in which those people know nothing about; however, since you may not know anything about it, you buy their story hook, line, and sinker. When you do that, you are caught and the outcome does not favor you. When you swallow negativity hook, line, and sinker, your “too good to be true” dream dies just like the fish that swallows the hook.
Pursue attractive opportunities. Pursue attractive relationships. Pursue attractive careers. Pursue your better future! Pursue being redeemed for wrong choices and sinful acts. Turn your back on unattractive business dealings. Turn your back on unhealthy relationships. Turn you back on unattractive career choices. Turn your back on unattractive business opportunities. And turn your back on immoral actions and sinful situations. Pursue truth. Pursue what looks really good! Pursue what looks too good! You will probably find some things that are brilliant, some things that are noble, and some things that are magnificent. It simply requires a shift in your perspective on how you’ve been taught to think all these years.