Yard Sale

Garage Sale Articles–Better Than Average Junk?

Ed, my neighbor next door, noticed me carrying various articles to my garage last week. Yesterday, he saw me taking two electric heaters there, “So, do you know it’s June? Are you planning on heating your garage in the summer?” he asked from across his yard while exhaling his cigarette smoke.

“Well, I hope to heat up the garage as we have a sale there in a couple of weeks,” I answered. “Save your money and get a loan from the bank, because the stuff we are selling will be too good to miss out on.”

“Garage sales are more about getting rid of junk than selling things too good for others to miss,” Ed said.

“Think of it as second-hand treasures for the discriminating,” I told Ed. Then I quickly added, “I need your help to move an upright freezer to the garage. It is not real heavy, so you’ll have no trouble wheeling it around on the dolly while I supervise.”

“I can’t help you with my bad back, but I’ll watch you struggle and sweat to get the freezer to the garage. Better get prepared for when it does not sell,” Ed added. “Sometimes you can’t even give junk away.”

“It will sell. The price will be too good to resist,” I informed Ed.

Too good to resist is what a garage sale is all about. While some might see the articles for sale as used and even junk, there is the hope that somebody will see something as too good to resist. A garage sale article too good to resist must be matched by a good price, a cheap price, a price that is a steal.

Pricing articles for a garage sale is not easy, as they may have sentimental value for the person selling them. An article may have worked well for us, but we forget it is old and out of date now. We may see articles as more valuable than they are.

It seems most people think that they, too, are better than they are. A recent edition of Scientific American reports that psychologists did a test that showed this. They showed people varying pictures of themselves. Only one of the pictures that people looked at of themselves was not touched up. All the other pictures were doctored to make the person look better or worse. When people were asked to pick the picture of themselves, that was the honest one, or the untouched one, they almost always picked a picture that made them look better.

The Scientific American report calls it “self-enhancement.” It is thinking we are better than we actually are. Self-enhancement was at work in other studies where 93% of people asked said they were better-than-average drivers. Likewise, 94% of college professors said they do “above-average work.”

The Bible tells us that the disciples were guilty of self-enhancement. They disputed who of them could be considered the greatest. They were not content to see themselves as average, ordinary disciples. Jesus reminded them that he was the greatest, but he was there to serve, not be served. He was the one who washed their feet. He wasn’t about self-enhancement, but self-denial to serve and bless others. It is God’s way of enhancement.

 

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Raymond Maher
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