There is a lot of competition for consumer dollars this time of year. It seems that many companies — especially those who hawk their goods on TV – are relying on buyer’s gullibility.

Have you ever watched a commercial or infomercial and wondered, “Do people really fall for this stuff?”

The answer is: apparently so, or the ads would be off the air.

Sales hype just grows and grows. Somebody must be buying the hype and therefore buying these products.

Do you really believe that Amish craftsmen are tucked away in their Pennsylvania barns carefully carving out mantles to wrap around a “free” Heat Surge — with all the firepower of a space heater?

And do people really fall for such lines as “A strict limit of two per family” or “No dealers please”?

Then there are old reliable lines like “For a limited time only” (I sure hope so!) and “Not available in stores” (except those all along the interstate).

Creating a sense of scarcity and urgency, I guess, helps motivate customers to pull out their credit cards and pick up their phones.

Surely Jesus had something more significant in mind when he called followers to be “as wise as serpents.” But in all areas of life, discernment has its value.

But my guess is that gullibility still wins out much of the time. I can image some dear souls right now sitting by their Amish heaters while writing checks to Robert Tilton and Jim Bakker.

Christmas is a season of hype and hope. I’ll take the latter only, please.

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