Deceit, lies, untruth, falsity, dishonesty…anyway you want to say it, it all boils down to the opposite of truth or even purity. Why do some people in our lives use tactics of deception to manipulate our emotions or get our attention? When did it become okay for them to use panic to rally us into loyalty. I think I’ve been in denial or I’ve had a blind fold over my eyes, being totally oblivious to these tactics. I look back over my life and feel stupid, and a little ashamed when I question myself in this area. Have I ever done this to other people? Do I do it now? And if I have, let me stop right now and apologize…not an apology of remorse…
…but an apology of repent.
And what do we do with those emotions of anger toward those manipulators? Of course, I have pity on them….
…but I also wish my interaction with them could be severed. I know Christ tells us to cut off those things which cause us to sin…
“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.” Matthew 18:8 NAS
…but sometimes I think I’d be left with just a torso all alone if I severed all “the pain in the butt” relationships.
“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” Mark 9:49-50 NAS
So I know that I should be gracious to people and be careful in the way I respond to each one…
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Col. 4:6 NAS
…but sometimes I have to rebuke those people who cross a line of being totally inappropriate. I’ve got to totally turn away from them.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:23-27 NAS
I think guarding my heart is extremely important to my health. And I have to accept that God may have another person in mind to minister to that loved one. He may not be using me as the one who encourages…
…but rather the one who rebukes.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” John 14:6