Deception has always been a part of life, and it is something that many of us have dealt with, whether against us, or using it to get our own way…Deception can be one of the most evil things we face in the world. In the Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest used deception to earn an unconditional surrender from Union troops on his way to Nashville. In WWII a major part of the Allies’ D-Day victory was due to deception by the 23rd Headquarter Troops of the Allied forces, which would sneak in and take the place of different brigades and allow them to move elsewhere to fight.
In 1212 a young French Shepherd boy named Steven was convinced that he had met Jesus dressed as a pilgrim, and was certain that he was now to bear a message to the Holy Land. He drummed up the support of more than 30,000 children who began the trek to the Holy Land, but were cut short when they reached the edge of the water at Marseilles. Two men used deception to get the children on boats, “bound for the Holy Land,” but were, in fact, bound for Northern Africa to sell the kids into Slavery. Two men who were willing to turn a dollar at the expense of a number of youth who never made it to the Holy Land, and likely never made it back home.
We see that Deception is not a good thing, and when it comes to our speech we tend to try and deceive people constantly through our words and actions. In James 3:9-12 we see that James is addressing this issue, “with your mouth you praise the Lord, and with the same mouth you curse men; my brothers, this ought not be…” With our mouths we sing praises to God, we sing Hymns, we give credit to the Father of Lights…but with that same mouth we slander our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only that, but we often get so frustrated with someone who has wronged us that we wish harm on them, and never realize the implications of what we are doing.
James addresses this by saying that “fresh water and salt water cannot flow out of the same source” to emphasize that there is nothing we can do as follower of Christ to convince the world that we are changed if our actions don’t prove it. Think this week of what in your life is causing you problems, and see if you are handling life with the attitude of Christ. How do we expect the world to think we are anything but a hypocrite if all we ever do is say one thing and do another? If we want to change the world back to a God fearing place, it has to start with you and me! And for everything to start with us…we have to let go of ourselves, and grasp the newness of what God has to offer.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come” — 2 Corinthians 5:17