Knowing you are being conned is not always easy. People, especially those in the south and in cities like New York, have honed this art into a complete science. Externals are all in place; the direct eye contact, smooth voice, and quiet hand movements. The interaction seems legitimate. It comes with a dialogue that has an obvious positive and worthwhile motive, goods that appear to fit the need, and pending closure that seems to be consistently imminent. Is anything real?
Sometimes you can see the signs. “They [Riffraff and rascals] wink at each other, they shuffle their feet, they cross their fingers behind their backs.” (Proverbs 6.13) You watch and wonder how smart they thy think you are. I wonder if even this is an accurate assessment.
People in love often have the same signs. They share winks; exchange knowing looks; and radiate a current echoing of intimate moments known only to the two of them. One may think they know the story, but clearly one has only read the early primer version of the conversation.
I pride myself on being reasonably street smart. I do not think that I was conned in the last few days, but perhaps I am not looking at the whole story. I saw a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it was scary! I winked at myself, shuffled my feet, and crossed my fingers in telling the truth; all in the hope that God would see just want I wanted him to see.
God is the ultimate of street-smart. He knows you and my weakness, failings, vain attempts, and cons inside out. He anticipates just how slick out attempts are and prepares for the moves. Yet, His actions are unique. Where I would expect exposure and humiliation, I find love and mercy. In the situation where I would act with blunt confrontation, I find grace and forgiveness.
God consistently responds to the cons with action. The question for you and I today is simple. Will we take action or believe the con we keep playing on our self?