Deception is fascinating.
At base, deception is simply lying, which doesn’t sound so mysterious and awesome, but truly good deception is done in such a way that the people accepting the lies, think that they are believing the truth.
Deception is at the base of pretty much everything we do in our culture. Years ago, a friend of ours in advertising told us that he was leaving the business and finding something else to do because, as he said,
“The whole purpose of my job is to convince people that they want something that they don’t need. A successful day for me is when I encourage someone, who was initially content with their life, to be dissatisfied about their car, or their phone, or the way they look.
“My purpose is to convince people that their life isn’t good enough.”
Many of us, when we watch a commercial, or encounter an ad in a magazine, are aware that we are being prodded to buy something. Often, we even realize that the impression we’re being given isn’t necessarily true — seriously, that movie star uses that particular brand of toothpaste?
But even though we recognize that what we’re being told is probably not true, too few of us actually act upon this thought, and instead, buy the toothpaste, or vote for the guy that says he’ll lower taxes, or truly believe that the bond money will be used to fix the city streets.
And then when it turns out to be not true, we act 1) surprised and 2) guilty because if someone tells us a lie and we believe it, it’s our fault somehow.
We accept deception as a normal part of human existence, which to some extent it is — deception has been with us since Eve fell for the serpent’s lie in the garden — but accepting and embracing are two things.
A wise person acknowledges that deception exists and men lie, and tends to not believe everything he is told in person, on the news, at the movies, or by politicians. Quite frankly, based upon this criteria, there aren’t a lot of wise people in the world.
Those who should be wise — Christians who turn to God for guidance and truth — are not as many as one would hope because, for some reason or another, too many people who call themselves Christians in this society place more importance upon the authority of man — their pastor, Christian leaders, government officials, anybody who wears a uniform, and talk show hosts who promote “family values” — than they do upon the actual words and teaching of God.
There is quite a difference between the two, you know.