We hear a lot about ‘fake news’ these days, but a little museum in southern France is struggling with some fake art. The Etienne Terrus Museum opened in 1994 as a tribute to the local artist who lived in the late 19th century. During a recent reordering of the collection, an art expert discovered that more than 60% of the paintings were fakes.
The mayor of the small town says it’s a ‘catastrophe’ for the community and vows to get to the bottom of the issue. A panel of experts has been put together to look into how this could have happened. The townspeople are feeling rather embarrassed by the whole scandal.
It seems harder and harder to know what we can accept as real or genuine any more. We watch or read the news with an eye to finding out where the reporter’s bias lies. Questionable articles posted on social media have us doubting the wisdom of some of our friends. Those great deals on the internet are sometimes “too good to be true.” I find myself wondering ‘who can I trust anymore?’
It’s impossible for us to straighten out all the problems in our world, but we can and should protect our own integrity. We can make sure that our interaction with others is honest. Jesus taught that we need to be men and women of our word, “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’” (Matthew 5:37) If we can’t be true to our word, then we can’t trust one another.
You can’t investigate all the fake news items that might come your way today, but you can be a dependable person of your word. That’s simply discipleship in action.