If I went to the salvage yard and towed a beat up car to the body shop where the outward appearance was made to look good, then clean all the burnt oil off the engine, give it a quick tune up, put new tires on it and finally roll back the odometer; I would have what APPEARS to be a good clean used car. Every day there are thousands of unsuspecting people who pay a fortune for what APPEARS to be good vehicle only to find out later it was a fraud.
When people put on a facade and become someone they are not, they are no different than the unscrupulous car dealer who deliberately deceives the customer through saying something is what it is not. God hates fraud, hypocrisy and lies. The devil is the father of lies and he is the expert at turning pure trash into an APPARENT treasure.
I could find a bum living in a cardboard box and with time and work turn him into what would APPEAR to be a fine upstanding citizen. In medical offices there are people who claim to be Doctors who never set foot in a Medical School. They forged documents and lied their way through the hiring process to get the job.
Professional liars are hard to spot and harder yet to capture. By nature,they are excellent at what they do and rarely slip up. Those who are convicted of fraud are usually the amateurs for the true professionals seem to always find a way to never get caught or convicted. It is unbelievable how many people in all walks of life are nothing but wolves in sheep’s clothing, making their living through pure deceit and fraud.
How do you feel after finding out someone you trusted was lying to you all along? You feel betrayed and like someone took a dagger and thrust it into your back. There are few feelings more powerful than those produced by betrayal. .
“Hell has no fury like a woman scorned” was supposedly penned by Shakespeare and perfectly describes the attitude of anyone, male or female, when they find out they have been betrayed. It is beyond my mind’s ability to comprehend how people honestly think those they defraud, lie to and steal from aren’t going to be a little upset when they find out. It is also unbelievable to me to see how people who got caught, supposedly repent, and then turn around and do the same exact thing over again with a new set of unsuspecting people.
True repentance does necessitate true forgiveness, but to show how much love our Lord Jesus Christ had; He forgave WITHOUT any repentance (“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”). As deeply as the betrayal of Judas must have hurt Jesus, I know He would have forgiven him and taken him back if he would have just repented. Another subject for another time.
It takes incredible sharpness and vigilance to be able to separate the real from the counterfeit. When Jesus sent out His disciples, He told them to be wise as serpents yet gentle as doves. Jesus was urging them to accept nothing at face value yet remain guileless. In other words, don’t believe everything you hear and see but do not “cop an attitude” just because of what you hear and see. Just because someone looks like they crawled out of the nearest sewer doesn’t mean they are bad person any more than the guy in the expensive suit is a good person.
There are some within the Body of Christ with the special “gift” of being able to sniff out those who are trying to deceive and defraud God’s people. Those with this ability can spot a fake a mile away. It would do us all well to listen to these “spiritual Geiger counters” and take heed to what they are telling us. I have met and been close to some of these kinds of people over the years and they almost seem to be able to “see through” people right off the bat.
To avoid “being taken” we must slow down and honestly evaluate and if need be investigate what we are hearing or seeing. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual to make sure they line up. Just because something “looks good” does not in any way make it good. Just because something looks bad does not mean it is bad inside. The ability to discern good from bad and truth from the lie is absolutely essential to winning in our walk with God. It should be our sincere desire to not be counted among the victims of the multitude of charlatans standing on every corner tempting us with their wares.