How Does Deception
By Paula J. Marolewski
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals
the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed,
has God said, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden”?’” – Genesis
Deception entered the world early … in the very paradise
of the Garden. As the precursor to sin and to the Fall of humankind,
it would do us well to study deception.
So where does deception begin? As in the Garden, deception often
begins outside of yourself. It is certainly possible to be entirely
self-deceived, but usually we have some help. That is, we’re
going along with our lives, and someone or something influences
us to believe a lie.
Consider these examples:
- A single woman goes out with a man who
convinces her, against her prior convictions, to have sex with
- A young Christian listens to a radio preacher who teaches
that the “Church age” is at an end, and as a result
he leaves the church where he was growing in the faith.
- A girl grows up under a Communist regime and learns to
hate and distrust those who follow a different ideology.
- A widow
who is struggling with the loss of her husband seeks the aid
of a psychic to contact the dead.
- A teenager reads the works
of thirteenth-century heretics and decides to follow their teachings.
From the above, we can see that the outside influence can be an
individual whom you personally know, like a family member or friend;
or someone you have never met, such as a radio or television personality.
Even people who are long-since deceased can lead people into deception
through the legacy of their written works, ideas, followers, or
The Bible has a great deal to say about how we can be deceived
- In Jeremiah 9:5, we read, “Friend deceives friend,
and no one speaks the truth.”
- Jesus warned in Matthew 24:11, “Many
false prophets will appear and deceive many.”
- In Romans 16:8, Paul writes, “For such people are
not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth
talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people.”
We usually think of our enemies trying to deceive us. Deceivers
are “the bad guys.” And certainly, our enemies – like
Satan himself, the “father of lies” – will try
to deceive us. But from the above verses, we see that friends can
deceive us as well. Religious leaders can deceive us. People within
the church can deceive us. For that reason, we need to pay careful
attention to everything we see and hear. I Thessalonians 5:21-22
commands us, “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid
every kind of evil.” Only by being on the alert and practicing
discernment in every area of life can we avoid the subtle trap
© 2008 Paula Marolewski
Article Source: http://www.sinkyourroots.com
About the Author:
Paula J. Marolewski provides challenging and interactive adult Bible
studies for individuals, Bible studies, small groups, and adult Sunday School
classes at Sink Your Roots. Studies
include such topics as Debunking
the Myths about Knowing God's Will. The site also offers free weekly Seedlings - “Little
thoughts that grow big results.”