Don’t Let Deceit Shape You
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. Psalm 32:2
Many of us discover early on in life that it’s easy to deceive people we perceive as naïve or generous. Watch your kids at play: one child will deliberately praise the beauty of a doll she’s uninterested in so that her sister will want it and exchange dolls with her, getting her the toy she secretly wanted. Or here’s a more serious one: A man named Laban in the Bible actually switched up the daughter he was giving in marriage, under the cover of night. Talk about an early morning surprise for Jacob, the groom (Genesis 29).
Clearly, if deceitful behavior goes unchecked, we get more sophisticated in our scams as we grow up. These mean and exploitative choices can be reinforced when we don’t face consequences. We may think we are getting away with deceit, but repeated choices shape character. How we act toward others shapes us inwardly, and what we are like inwardly will find its way into public. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:3, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Deceit destroys us.
If you’re feeling a pang of guilt right now, don’t despair. Some of us have a mountain of wrongdoing to repent for, but repentance is always an open invitation. Manipulating your sister out of her doll years ago may not have destroyed your character for life, but you can still apologize as an adult. Choose integrity daily so both your inner and outer life reflect Jesus.
Resource reading: Psalm 32:1-11