Key #2 to a Healthy Soul - Uproot Deceit
“You do realize that you are a termite.
You are eating through my soul.”
Mary Amato, Guitar Notes
Deceit is an Enemy that Wars Against the Soul
Once a friend offered to take me duck hunting. Meeting the next morning in early darkness, along with his son, we made our way to “his favorite place” pulling his duck boat behind. Launching the boat with the three of us, along with his dog, and dozens of decoys, plus other sundry items we reached a patch of high cattails in the reeds fifty yards off shore. We the first hour placing decoy after decoy in meticulous order on the water. The decoys had to look lifelike in the hope of attracting ducks. And, attract them they did.
The first wave of ducks flew in shortly after sunrise. With great precision, the father and his son brought down several ducks. With a command, the dog alighted from the boat and retrieved each duck. After the first wave the score stood,
Dad and son 3 – Me 0
The next wave of ducks approached after thirty minutes. As they landed just in front of our duck boat, blind shots rang out. After the second round the score stood,
Dad and son 7 ducks – Me 1 decoy
Yep, amid the Mallards, Red Heads, Teals, and a host of other winged fowls I ended up shooting a rather expensive decoy. With all the commotion, personal confusion reigned as I couldn’t tell the difference between ducks landing in the water and the decoys next to them. Ducks fled the pellet-filled air flying from just outside our boat. One decoy stood out from the others.
It lay on its side in a new, unusual way filled with buckshot.
At the end of the morning towards noon, about a dozen ducks lay in our boat, plus one obliterated decoy. Later that evening after preparing the fowls, wrapping them in bacon, and cooking them, we sat down to a duck banquet with many other friends. Stories abounded about the day’s hunting exploits while trying to consume cooked duck that embarrassing night.
Quickly, I discovered the only part of a cooked duck worth eating is the wrapped bacon. Better to leave the ducks be. Their beauty came from looking at them, not eating them. Went back to fishing from a boat after that.
Peter, the very one who denied Christ, warned of deceit and its consequences.
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit,
hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind."
1 Peter 2:1 (NIV)
When Peter used the word “deceit” a decoy is perhaps what he had in mind. The Greek word he used is “dolos” and probably comes from a very ancient word “delo” meaning to decoy.
Deceitfulness carries the idea of acting stealthily in craftiness and guile.
“Guile” is sometimes used in place of “deceit.” Both words carry the idea to decoy or to bait. Literally it refers to a fishhook, trap, or trick all of which represent various forms of deception.
Raised in Northern Minnesota, fishing was and still is a favorite hobby. The greater skill at baiting a hook, the greater chance of catching fish. Good fishermen show great skills at deception. Making a piece of metal or plastic dangling before some fish look like a worm, minnow, or leach requires skill and aptitude in trickery. Fishermen are skilled at deception. Likewise, some show equally skilled abilities at outright lying as they recount the “big one” that got away!
Dolos is a deliberate attempt to mislead, trick, snare or bait. Baiting a trap in an attempt to "catch" an unwary victim through deception. It is a desire to gain an advantage. To get the better of another through cunningness.
A modern term in advertising is called "bait and switch." This is a tactic used by advertisers where an unwary consumer is lured in by what looks like a price too good to be true!
80% off was a sign I saw the other day in a local store. The discounted price was $19.99.
People took the bait buying the item. Some quick math brought an interesting conclusion. If the item was truly discounted by 80%, it meant the item was normally priced at $100.00. This was clearly deceptive. The price for the item was never $100.00. No one would purchase it at that price.
Once I saw a sign displaying, “110% off.” So, I asked, “Does that mean if I take this, you’ll GIVE me 10 cents back for every dollar on this item?” The store employee chuckled.
Deceit is Toxic
Not only to the deceptive soul, but to those it deceives. In its basest form, deceit is deception with words. When attempted flattery, false promises, false tales, suggestive talk, off-colored suggestions, or enticing words dishonesty occurs.
Deceit or guile means to outright lie with the intent to decoy.
One gift I wish to give to my friends this next year is a genuine relationship apart from guile or deceit, and particularly, that stupid duck decoy laying on its side riddled with buckshot.
I don't want to see injured relationships at my expense. When I think of people, I see that decoy in the water. It's a reminder to treat people with respect and honor.
In doing so, it may, perhaps, be one of the best gifts one can offer another.
Just My Thoughts,
Excerpt from Son Risings - Discovering and Caring for the Real You - by Don Mingo