Thursday, February 26, 2015

Duplicity



Scripture

Psa. 28:3        Do not drag me away with the wicked,
        with those who are workers of evil,
    who speak peace with their neighbors,
        while mischief is in their hearts.
4     Repay them according to their work,
        and according to the evil of their deeds;
    repay them according to the work of their hands;
        render them their due reward.
5     Because they do not regard the works of the LORD,
        or the work of his hands,
    he will break them down and build them up no more.

Observation

David was struggling for his enemy sought to destroy him. God was his place of refuge and the one in whom he placed his trust.

He had experienced those who pretended to be his friends, who spoke peace with him, but only did so for their own personal advantage.  They were duplicitous in their behavior, their words not matching their actions. Hypocrisy is considered abhorrent, a special type of wickedness that will be punished.

Application


Hypocrisy, or duplicity may be one of the worst sins of “Christians” these days. It is the inconsistency between the words spoken and the life lived that drives a wedge between the world and Christianity. At the same time I believe the world is desperate to witness genuine Christianity — if only we could truly live what we say.

In my own tradition we have defined a holy lifestyle in a particular way — one that describes the things that we avoid. Sadly, it has not been defined by the things that we do. The result has been, at times, duplicity. I may avoid smoking and drinking, but I speak poorly of my neighbor, destroying their reputation. There are more examples that I’m afraid most of us can envision or have personally experienced.

The problem is that this type of duplicity has been destructive to Christianity. Unfortunately, it’s been going on for a long time. It was happening in David’s time. It happened when Christ was alive. It’s happening today — and yet, God is still on the throne. God’s reputation will ultimately not be tarnished by us — but our lives and those around us will be affected by how we choose to live our lives.

In simplicity Jesus came forward to be baptized in the Jordan and the Holy Spirit came upon him. We need to come before God in simplicity, the Spirit descending upon us, empowering us to live genuine lives of faith. Complete and entire infilling with the Spirit leaves no room for duplicity for we will be the same through and through.

Prayer

Lord, please lead me this day and may my words and life reflect you.  Amen.

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