If you have ever thumbed through a vintage magazine, with its colorful, full-page ads, you have seen the illusion of perfection. Adds for everything from a glamorous brand of cigarettes to a shiny new family sedan grace the pages, making the reader long for that perfect item. In 1950, Inglis Washers introduced their new automatic with a happy young housewife exclaiming “my wash days are holidays now!” Another popular 1950 item, the Agee Pyrex baking dish, claimed to be the elusive answer to a happy marriage, promising cooks everywhere that “successful marriages start in the kitchen!” In 1954, Dutch Boy Paints promised that their white house paint brought with it a lot of happiness to any little home.
The world’s promise of attaining the perfect set of circumstances is just an illusion, dressed up in every sort of package. King David had so much of what the world offers: earthly riches, power, concubines, he was a sheep herder made king. Still, David called himself poor and weak—a man who needed God’s help. He was wise enough to know that worldly perfection is the perfect illusion, and that true perfection is found in God’s Word alone:
Nothing is perfect except your words. Oh, how I love them. I think about them all day long. They make me wiser than my enemies because they are my constant guide. Psalm 119:96-98
One day in the future only God’s Word will remain. Gone will be this earth’s offerings of perfection: status, the praise of men, gold, and silver, and even the perfectly painted house filled with the best appliances your money can buy!
Nice things are not bad, and God’s Word also promises to bless us. But we take a wrong turn when we strive after things with a belief that if we just had them, everything would be right and we would be forever happy. That is the lie of the “perfect” illusion.