The Worst Deception of All

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. – 1 John 3:7-10

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Notice that the lock is on the outside of this door. It seems that it is designed to keep people in! Photo taken in Kleb Woods, October 2016

I would so love to say that I have never been deceived. But I’m that guy: the one who gets hooked when the bait is thrown out for the gullible one to bite. Did you know that they’ve actually created a way to get to the center of the earth? OK, maybe I won’t fall for that one, but I seem to be an easy target for the practical joke, the fun-poking set-up, the let’s-see-just-how-far-we-can-take-this tricksters. More often than not it is harmless. I’m ready to run out and buy a last minute birthday cake for the staff because they convince me I forgot and it’s my month to provide the cake.

Sometimes, however, the deceit is more grave. This really isn’t a sin. You won’t surely die. Did God really say…? Jesus has strong words for those who lead others astray – especially little ones.

And [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents,forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

Interesting connection between forgiving your brother and deceiving people or causing people to fall into sin. The gravest deception of all is that there is no forgiveness possible. Perhaps the greatest show of love is to forgive someone who has sinned against us. This is our calling as children of God. To refuse to do so is sin of the worst kind.

Save us from such sin, gracious God!

2 comments
  1. Dianne Moses said:

    I had an aunt whom I adored, but who broke my heart. In order to hide her deceptions, she lied about me, accusing me of a thing that I abhor anyone doing! I felt that my love and respect for her made her deception a particularly painful betrayal! I struggled with my need to forgive my aunt, but try as I might the old pain would return to haunt me. Many years after her death I was told of a really horrible thing she had done to her husband at the end of his life and only then did I realize what a tortured soul this woman must have been and forgiving her became easy for I realized that her not returning the love that I had for her was not a matter of my not being worthy of her love, but rather her inability to love not only me, but also herself! It was this realization that finally brought an end to my painful inability to forgive! Now, I wonder if it may many times be true that it is a distorted reflection of ourselves that we see in the eyes of those who betray us that makes it so difficult to forgive. A very wise elderly Christian woman once told me that we can know that we have forgiven when the memory is no longer painful! Now, when I remember my aunt, I am filled with sadness for the painful life that she must have lived and I can hope that at the end of her life, she found forgiveness in the eyes of our Lord and that she dwells with him in Heaven eternally. Thank you, Pastor Bahn, for another beautiful Post. God bless you, always Dianne Moses Sent from my iPad

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    • dlbpandp said:

      Dianne, God’s mercy and pity are like that. He realizes how deeply we have been hurt and how badly we have been deceived when we give in to sin. Thankfully he is good and gracious, forgiving sins and redeeming sinners. Thanks for sharing your heart and reflecting God’s heart to others in the process. In Jesus… DLB

      Abundant Blessings! David Bahn, Senior Pastor [Jesus said,] “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that you may have life in abundance.” John 10:10

      St. John Lutheran Church http://www.stjohn-lutheran.net http://www.dlbpandp.wordpress.com

      Sent from my iPad

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