The Devil and a Three Dollar Bill
"I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is." Colossians 2:4-5 NIV The devil won't fool you with a three dollar bill. This is one of the many things my dad has repeatedly told me over the years. And now, I find myself saying it at every opportunity. A powerful lesson begging careful study of any "fine-sounding arguments" that come my way. My dad's point was quite simply that the deceptions of the devil are never so obvious that we would necessarily spot them at a moment's notice. Instead, veiling his lies with just enough truth, the devil hopes to lead people astray. We see this on display when the devil tempts Jesus in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11) And it's also why we're instructed in scripture to "test the spirits". (1 John 4:1) The world around us is filled with fine sounding arguments that upon first consideration may appear logical. However, after further inquiry (a process that takes many people an entire lifetime), these fine sounding arguments are found wanting. It's hard to tell with absolute certainty what arguments Paul was referring to, but what is clear is his solution. First, it was Paul's teaching, a reminder of the true gospel and the preeminence of Jesus Christ. Second, it was the awareness that there will, in fact, be fine sounding arguments that could possibly lead people astray. And lastly, it is to be disciplined and firm in one's faith allowing fellow brothers and sisters to see Christ in us as well as the opportunity to hold us accountable. Questions to consider: How often do you remind yourself or others of the true gospel? Do you hear and or engage with arguments opposed to your worldview? In other words, could you answer a critic? Who holds you accountable in a "disciplined and firm" faith?