Magic, sleight of hand and mind, is often the name of the game. Business negotiations turn on the knowledge, or lack of, by one or both parties. Purchases hinge on the difficulty of discovering what the real price should be. Relationships turn on perceptions.
What is difficult to discern, virtually impossible to know, is the intent behind the moves. Did the person make the move in innocence or ignorance? Was the motivation behind the move driven by selfishness? Could the intent be honorable, compassionate really, yet be shaped by blindness? Or is the foundation to one’s decisions and actions filled with knowledge and positive motivations?
Sometimes charlatans are easy to spot. Their motivation, blatantly on display, is often greed, status, or power. I find myself growing comfortable, believing I can spot the imposters. Yet it is the polished professionals who weave the dangerous webs. Dangerous investments, risky ventures, and even pagan beliefs are wrapped in sweet, soothing, and comfortable words and actions. You find them in business, relationships, and even or especially in spiritual nooks. Nobody is safe or immune!
My response is two-fold. We, you, me and anyone who spots the imposter, should hold them to account. On every front, in verbal and nonverbal ways, we should be call out “Doom to you! You pretend to have the inside track. You shut God out and work behind the scenes, plotting the future as if you knew everything, acting mysterious, never showing your hand.” (Isaiah 29.15) God has a special place reserved for you if you continue on this path.
Second, let’s be smart. We should take charge of our destinies. We are accountable. We are the only ones who determine the response our lives take to the world around us. You and I have a choice; with God and community or following the whims of others.
Today is a new day. Be careful out there. Live fully and deeply. Be willing to take risk, yet be on your guard. God’s willing to walk with you. In the end and beginning, it is your choice.
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