Something is counterfeit if it appears to be genuine but is not. The problem with counterfeit money is that you can use and spend it and often the recipient will not recognize it for what it is. Then one day you attempt to use what is counterfeit with someone who knows what is genuine. Not only do you not get what you wanted but the fake money you have is forfeit as well.
Gift giving can be counterfeit or it can be genuine. Giving gifts to others can be a very good thing. But to be good, the gift must first be genuine. Just as we can’t earn our acceptance with God, neither can we fully earn the acceptance of those whom we love. You see if something is earned, it can also be lost. Just ask someone who invests their earned money in the stock market. Jesus says don’t invest in things that will wear out, but rather in things that will not wear out. Gifts must not be a token to purchasing acceptance. Rather they must be given out of appreciation: appreciation for what God has given to you in Christ and appreciation for those whom God has placed in your life. True giving does not give to get something in return. That is what the world does. By all means, give gifts. Wrap them in special paper. But have that gift be an expression of God’s great love to you. Otherwise, you may be giving a counterfeit gift.
You can spend your life on things that don’t have real value. You can invest in what you think will make you happy. Then you meet the One who is genuine. You realize at that moment your life has been invested in counterfeit living, so much so, that you have become counterfeit yourself. But the One who is genuine has no use for that which is counterfeit, except to throw it on the manure pile. The wonder is that God is in the business of making counterfeit people whole and genuine!
Invest in Jesus Christ and his riches. Take hold of life that is truly life!