A Little FartherDo you hear much about lament in your local church?
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It took more than a year for a leading Christian human
rights organization in Washington, DC, to confirm
that one of their own—their then vice-president of
constituent relations (fund-raising)—was leading a
double life. Though the man led prayer at daily staff
devotions, proudly quoted Scripture, and appeared
to live a squeaky-clean life, behind the scenes he was
running an organized crime ring.
So sly was the con artist that he even managed to submit
three sets of fake fingerprints for background checks
before investigators discovered that he had a lengthy
criminal record including grand larceny. This man was
hardly the first to hide guilty behavior behind the cloak of
Christianity. Throughout history, many men and women
have purposefully misled others to attain their own selfish
gains. Proverbs 6:12 describes such people as “constant
liars” whose “perverted hearts plot evil.”
Personally, I’m jolted and often thrown off my “game”
each time I learn that someone with a visible Christian
platform has been living a starkly different life on the
side. The apostle Paul, however, states that dubious
behavior by some should not come as a big shock.
“These people are false apostles,” exclaimed Paul. “They
are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles
of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises
himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13).
Regardless of the inappropriate behavior of some, Paul insisted that he would
continue doing what he had always done. “This will undercut those who are
looking for an opportunity to boast that their work is just like ours” (v.12).
Join me in aiming to be like Paul who, despite what was happening around
him, was committed to living out sincere faith in Jesus (1 Thessalonians 2:2).
What would happen if you lived out 1 Peter 1:1 and purged your life
of “all evil behavior” and stopped “all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and
all unkind speech”?
How should you respond when a Christian brother or sister is caught in
deceitful living? What will prevent you from living a double life?
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