Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.
Deception is an integral part of evil and evil can not exist without deception. These two are linked in such a way that we can not find them separate from each other. And this is not surprising since both of them have the same father, Satan. For those who spend their lives looking to profit from the misfortunes of others, deceit is a powerful weapon that seduces, fascinates, numbs and captures hearts and minds. Most people live with the illusion that some day they will find their fortune and therefore they are easily manipulated by lies and false promises. There are even those who justify lying as something that should be used to achieve the greater good. We know where these ideas come from. We who are disciples and followers of the Master Savior should not have any affinity with this pernicious practice because Jesus is the truth and light has nothing to do with darkness. In this postmodern world where people prefer to believe that nobody has the absolute truth but they all have a little bit of it, even if they hold diametrically opposite positions, a lie is easily disguised and runs free without being detected.
In contrast, we find that the search for peace is something that is righteous and brings joy to those who practice it. One of the greatest satisfactions a person may have is to live without conflict. This does not mean we can live in a kind of protective capsule that isolates us from the world for this capsule does not exist. Conflicts will always be just around the corner, looming to make our life more difficult. But if we are wise we will see them coming and with God’s help we shall be able to find a way to avoid them or to mitigate them. Let us flee from deceit and let us always promote peace. This way we will find truth and joy, and we will remain focused on the way of righteousness, which God prepared for us before creation. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged deceit, evil, Jesus, joy, life, love, peace, Proverbs 12, religion, spirituality, wisdom
No one who practices deceit
will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence.
The LORD detests lying lips, says one of the proverbs from the book of the same name. If we are true children of God, we should also hate lies and whoever practices deceit. Where there are lies, there can be no trust, no justice. Lies, together with their associates, flattery, self-righteousness, intrigue and hypocrisy have done more harm to humanity than the atomic bombings during World War II. Lies have a very well defined origin. Our enemy the devil is the father of lies. Of him Jesus said: “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” For sure, we do not want to have any kind of business wit this liar.
Let us keep ourselves as far away as possible from this abominable behavior and let us speak the truth to one another. Lies will always be in opposition to our Lord because He is the truth. If we are true children of God we must practice the truth above all things. His Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and guides us into all the truth. Let us walk with a clear conscience, confident that we are following the path of truth and that our conduct pleases God. To God alone be the glory!
It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Conflict has always existed and will always be present around the human race. To try to resolve our differences through violence and confrontation is simply a basic characteristic of our humanity. We do not have to go too far from the beginning of human history to find the story of the Cain, the murderer. In this narrative we can clearly see evidence of the sinful nature that he inherited from his parents as a result of the fall. Abel, his brother, inherited the same sinful nature as Cain, but at least Abel would be more in control of it. Conflict rarely brings resolution and peace. The most likely outcome from conflict is escalation, which makes it increasingly difficult to put an end to it. Conflict brings a curse. When God confronted Cain for what he had done, Cain tried without success to hide behind a lie. Later, God curses Cain and condemns him to a life of wandering and to be a fugitive with no opportunity to cultivate the land or enjoy its fruits. From these events will come later in part, during the Middle Ages, the fantastic and quite popular story of “The Wandering Jew.”
Between human beings there will always be conflict because it is inherent in the flesh. The apostle Paul includes in the list of the works of the flesh, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; all of these ingredients are more than sufficient to trigger conflict. Therefore, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” By making good use of tolerance and forgiveness we will be showing to others the love of God. To God alone be the glory!
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
Most ─if not all─ of those who read these thoughts are adults who, understandably, are no longer under the authority of their parents. However, if and when they accepted Christ as Lord and Savior they were placed under the authority of the King of kings and Lord of lords; so they need, as children, to be subject to the direction, care and discipline of our loving Father. Failure to recognize our position before the Father puts us in a dangerous path. In times past when people acted differently to what they claimed they believed, they were called a hypocrite. Today, when someone behaves that way, it is said that he/she is an open minded person. This is a good example of a couple of the many problems that postmodernism has brought us, ambiguity and confusion.
Let us not deceive ourselves or act as hypocrites. God is our Father and our authority. Neglecting his correction makes us stupid and insolent, two things that our Father will not tolerate and that He will continue to correct in our lives by using different methods to achieve His wise goals. Let us recognize our responsibility as the adults we are and let us position ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Obedience is the key to success in the life of a child of God. Walking the path of obedience always will bring us to a pleasant destination. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, father, instruction, love, mocker, Proverbs 13, rebuke, religion, respond, son, wisdom