According to government statistics, authorities discover counterfeit American bills totaling between $70 million and $200 million every year. With home-production of illegal funds posing such a growing problem with the arrival of advanced copiers and better computer printers, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing works to continually upgrade the security features of some of the most commonly-counterfeited bills, thus making it much harder for would-be crooks to produce “funny money.” Color-shifting inks, watermarks, raised impressions, micro-printing and security strips increase the uniqueness of American currency. According to the Secret Service, even the paper that bills are printed on cannot be produced legally by an individual. It is of a special composition pressed to a specific thickness and contains tiny red and blue silk fibers (you can see them if you look closely enough).
One of the best ways to determine a real bill from a fake one is the simplest: human touch. Because of the characteristics of this closely-guarded paper, a difference can be discerned by the fingertips. Interestingly enough, the best way for one to become skilled at determining counterfeit bills is not by intensive study of the fake money, but by taking every opportunity to handle real currency. When a person knows exactly what the genuine article feels like and looks like, spotting an attempt at deception becomes easier.
Counterfeit detection is not only necessary with currency, but with information as well. We hear many voices speaking many things conveniently labeled as “truth,” but not all of these hold up to scrutiny. You can’t believe every person who claims to preach the truth, no matter what kind of ratings or how many likes they might enjoy. Nor should you recommend a particular book simply upon the basis that you found it in a Christian bookstore. And just because a movie mentions God doesn’t make it a religious film. We need fine-tuned discernment to differentiate between the truth and the almost-true.
Hebrews 5:13-14 reads, For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. We must train and exercise our spiritual sense of “touch” by disciplined application of Scriptural truth so that we can recognize the counterfeits when they arise.
If you want to spot the frauds, spend time with the truth.
We will not be led astray by surface-level appearances in our discernment. – John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
We will test every proposed truth by God’s Word in order to avoid false teaching. – 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Our love, knowledge and discernment will grow daily. – Philippians 1:9-10 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.