Love & Relationships With T. Charles Brantley: Knock Offs Versus The Real Thing

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Just hearing the words “knock off” breathes discontent.

When someone has a real Dooney & Bourke, Versace or Coach purse, the owners of these bags have an eighth sense to stop and find anything that is not real. They have an internal mandate to not only spot a knock off, but will alert everyone on their social media page and become a correspondent to the world that they have discovered one who has a fake handbag.


What would happen if people in relationships would do the same among themselves by seeking what was real and not fake? The spirit of Ananias and Sapphira of Acts chapter 5 is alive and well in our houses of worship. We are more concerned about looking right than being right. Many would rather be color coordinated at their latest church convention or convocation while relationships are suffering. Some married couples are not sleeping with each other, and children are simply messed up due to what they see and what is actually done in their own homes. Let alone the visual and audios they take away from relationships outside of home.

The Bible is very direct: Ananias and Sapphira were persons of the church community who lied and were punished for it. We understand that they were somebodies because they had an audience with Apostle Peter. Oh yes, they were movers and shakers and they loved to be praised by others. Today, some people want that same vain glory while their relationship suffers. There is a lack, even though the marriage is at the crossroads of divorces, but they have to look the part. We have to remove this spirit from our lives. Ananias and Sapphira’s relationship was a knock off. Let us not repeat this cycle.

We could go deeper; that spirit of knock offs or fakeness comes from parents or the self-righteous spirits that may have been in homes. Many have been taught to be knock offs in relationships from parents, which makes it comfortable to stay in that mind frame. If fathers, who are bishops, apostles, or prophets, never show love to their families, yet show much love and admiration to members of religious establishments, this is the genesis of a knock off relationship.

Instead of encouraging knock off relationships, we should applaud relationships that are real. And real does not mean perfect.

We should recognize every relationship that stands for truth. A knock off can never be converted to a real version of a product. However, this is not the case with humans. By God’s grace and with the help of counseling, your situation can change. For change to occur, we must first recognize that a change needs to happen. Baby steps, but change must come. Once we recognize we need to change and that we want to remove the stigma of fake, we should start holding our feet to the fire and work on self: Stop judging others and just judge yourself. Look yourself in the face first and recognize the untruth. Let’s go beyond wigs, extensions, toupees and etc. We have to work hard to judge our real selves. In addition to enhancing our look, we may have been led to accept that fake is the norm. But no my brothers and sisters, it is not the norm. Fake is a form of falsehood that could easily lead to lying. Lying is not the norm.

The bible says a liar will not be in God’s sight (Psalms 101: 7). We do not like people lying to us but at the same drop of a hat we can lie to ourselves and others and convince ourselves that this is okay. We collectively have to stop accepting the lies within ourselves. Socrates the Greek philosopher said in essence, “Know thyself.”

Is it a lot of work to keep self from what is fake? God help us to stop covering what needs to be exposed. Covering pain will only enhance the pain, and that pain becomes infectious within the system. To be fair, we all deal with a level of knock off. To this degree, we must be mindful.

It was Polonius in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet who said “To thine own self be true…” in Act 1, Scene 3. Although Polonius spoke the line, he did not live the line, for later in the play he was killed by Hamlet due to his impertinent, rude spirit.

Let us do things different in 2018. Unknown author of this quote says, “Making mistakes is better than faking perfection.”

No more knock offs.

T. Charles Brantley, Ph.D is a Christian counselor, relationship expert, and author of 22 nationally published books. For more information, follow Dr. Brantley at and visit

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