What would happen if you lived out 1 Peter 2:1 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?
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 6:12-14 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 11:13-14).
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” (2 Corinthians 11:12).
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 2:2-4).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: James 2:1-13
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