Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Understand Deception

I know a young woman with small children in the midst of a divorce right now. She is leaving her faithful, hard-working, honest, good-looking, kind, wonderful father, husband for another man after having a long-term affair with him. Her children are hurt and confused, her husband is destroyed, her parents are devastated, his parents are crushed, and their friends are shocked. This is a woman raised in a Christian home with happily married parents. She met her new boyfriend in the church choir.
Deceive = to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid, to give a false impression.
When I heard about the situation my first thought was "so this is deception". How else can you explain a woman who is happy in her marriage one day and out "dating" another man the next? This is deception as plain as the serpent in the garden. In the same way the enemy caused Eve to believe she would be "happier" and MORE fulfilled if she ate the ONE fruit she couldn't eat, he caused this young woman to believe that somehow the grass would be greener in this other mans' arms. Eve never considered the consequences of her actions in her own life, or those generations to follow and I'm sure this woman hasn't either. That is one of the enemies focus all our attention on the object of desire and leave no time or thought to it's ramifications. Let us never forget that the devils' intention is to STEAL, KILL, and DESTROY. What is more destructive in this world than divorce?
Deceive = to lead astray, imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness
Watching this situation progress to divorce has been painful for all involved. Many friends and family have tried to talk with this woman and reveal the consequences of her actions but to no avail. Too many times these situations remain hidden until the deception is so thick that it is nearly impossible to recover the victim. Too many times we, as onlookers, make excuses, rationalize the situation, or ignore it saying "that's none of my business" (which is another deception!). This is as dangerous as a burning building and we must be willing to rescue!
Deceive = to obscure the truth
If you are a follower of Christ and you know the TRUTH, don't keep it to yourself! I think we need to learn the art of "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). The Bible says the TRUTH will set us free. Sometimes that TRUTH is a good, happy message, like the gospel. But other times that TRUTH is hard, painful, and awkward to deliver, and yet it is still the key to freedom.
I have a friend who started a new job and has found herself in the middle of a potential adulteress situation between her boss and a new-hire (both married). There is quite a bit of flirting going on and it is uncomfortable for all the employees. I advised my friend to talk with the female from a point of view of concern. We have all been "blinded" in a situation in our lives where those on the "outside" could see things much more clearly than we could. Right now is the time to "nip this thing in the bud" but who can do that? My friend says "I don't have that kind of relationship with her!" Yes but the only people who DO have that kind of relationship with her will not know about this situation until it is much too late!! God placed YOU there at this time to speak the truth to her in love. She may not respond well to it. She may continue in the relationship. At least the truth has been spoken to her, an attempt to snap her out of the deceptive "trance".
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you."
This story and others like it should serve as a warning to all of us that deception is real, effective, and we all are at risk. What kind of safeguards do you have in place to guard against this in your marriage? What boundaries will you implement today? Do you have an accountability partner who can ask you about these? Remember, the first deception is when we think "that would never happen to me".
James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
One of the ways we guard against deception is by filling up on TRUTH daily in God's Word. Knowing the TRUTH is the greatest defense against the devils' schemes. Not just "knowing" Bible facts as though we want to win a prize on a quiz show, but KNOWING the ONE who is the Way and the TRUTH and the LIFE and doing what He says in obedience and out of love for Him.

Why Wouldn't I?