Posts Tagged ‘deceit’

Believing that Santa is watching their every move and judging their actions to see if they deserve gifts may be an effective way of getting children to behave during the holiday season, but what message is this sending?Is Santa like God? Only God knows these things, and that is what we need to be teaching our children.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:4-6 Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Isaiah 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus Be Praised!

A Christian parent must thoughtfully consider that Scripture is full of commands against deceiving others. Persistently proclaiming the existence of a man in a sleigh with flying reindeer as fact can only lead to deceit.

Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Psalm 101:7 He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside Falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

1 Peter 2:1-3 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 If you have tasted the kindness of the Lord

Please understand that I am not saying there is no place for imagination, but the level of emphasis on Santa appears to cross the line. The active teaching of Santa as a real person who performs real miracles to reward children for acting a certain way, in full knowledge that he is a myth, can only be described as deceit.We all overheard parents using gifts from Santa to manipulate their children into behaving in a way that pleases the parent at the time. Such manipulation is entirely unbiblical. As Christians, we should discipline our children for sinful behavior because it is an offense against God, not because it is inconvenient or embarrassing for us. Using gifts from a fictitious figure can only serve to promote a form of moralism that is alien to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If our actions are done to earn rewards for ourselves, are we not acting selfishly? This is not an attitude we should seek to instill in our children.

Matthew 10:32-33 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

How can we take Jesus who we call on all year for prayer and kick Him to the curb on the very day we honor His birth and lie to our children when he charges us to teach our children about Him from a young age?

Jesus Be Praised!

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 12:20 There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.

What a classic proverb! If you love unlocking dark sayings, here is your opportunity (Pr 1:6). The key to understanding the lesson is in the contrast between the two clauses. Those who imagine evil against others are liars and will be punished for it. Righteous men pursue peace with their words and advice, and God will bless them with happy lives.

While context is often of little value in Proverbs – many of the verses stand alone, there is some direction for this proverb. Solomon exalted truth and condemned lying in the context (Pr 12:17-19,21-22). Therefore, “deceit” in this proverb is not self-deception of those that imagine evil, but the deceit that evil men plan and use against others. Men with evil ambitions or envy against their neighbors will lie to take advantage of them.

The contrast in many proverbs is very helpful in finding the ellipses. Those that imagine evil against others are contrasted to those that counsel peace. Some men have evil ambitions against their neighbors, but other men only desire their good and peace. While the one uses deceit to corrupt, steal, or hurt, the other uses truth to heal and strengthen. The reward to the former is sorrow and trouble, but the blessing to the righteous is joy.

Is there a lesson? Lying originates in the human heart, where it begins with evil thoughts about other people. If you have bitter resentment or hateful envy toward others, it will corrupt your dealings with them. Instead of dealing honestly and truthfully with their best interests in mind, you will lie to them or about them to pursue your wicked agenda.

The cure is to keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (Pr 4:23). Jesus and James warned very clearly that all sins begin in the heart (Matt 12:34-37; 15:18-20; Jas 1:13-16). If you harbor envy or strife in your heart, it makes you completely vulnerable to confusion and every evil work of the devil (Jas 3:14-16).

Is there another lesson? God loves and blesses peacemakers (Matt 5:9). If your words and advice to others are truth and peace, God will favor your life (Pr 15:23; I Pet 3:10-13). Opposite the hellish confusion and evil of strife and envy is the peace and righteousness of heavenly wisdom (Jas 3:17-18). The difference is very great. Counsel peace today!

Differences between men are common. How will you deal with them? Will you forgive those who trespass against you (Pr 19:11; Matt 18:21-22)? If you have offended others, will you quickly seek reconciliation (Matt 5:23-26)? If you know of trouble between others, will you counsel them to peace and unity (Rom 14:17-19)? Counsel peace today!