A Moral Muddle by Nelson Price

JUDGES 21: 25

Jesus Christ gave us a short course in truthfulness when He said:
"But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is
more than these is from the evil one" (Mat 5:37).

Simple, isn't it. Sub-title: "Don't attempt to deceive."

When Jesus encountered Nathaniel, who was to become one of
His disciples, He said, "Here is an Israelite in whom there is no

Guile is the tactful art of verbal deception. Nathaniel was a straight
shooter. He was candid and up front. He left no doubt about what
he meant.

An example of guile is this. Suppose two persons have engaged in
certain conduct together. Soon they learn they are going to be
asked if they did the deed of which they are accused. One says to
the other "When asked if we did just say 'no we didn't.'"

When asked did you tell your friend to lie the answer is "No, I
didn't." To that person he is telling the truth. In that persons mind
he didn't use the actual words "Lie about it" even though he did
instruct his friend to give the wrong answer. That is guile.

In the mind of the person exercising guile terms are redefined to
suit the users desire. They do what is right in their own mind.

In Judges 21: 25 a society of guileful people is described. They
each did that which was right in their own eyes. Each person
established their own standard for right or wrong. It was one of the
bleakest periods in the glorious history of ancient Israel. Such a
national mentality eventually leads as it did then to anarchy.

At a time when the daily news leads with a story of reputed
immorality can the church dare be mute on the subject? It is not my
purpose to impose guilt on individuals the court has not and may
not judged. I want to be candidly clear that I am not saying our
president is guilty of any impropriety. The ultimate evidence will
determine that. However, we do well to consider public reacti ...

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