The son of a friend recently graduated from high school and joined the Army. After very limited communication opportunities during the early days of boot camp, he was finally able to have a phone conversation with his parents. When asked how it was going, he gave a classic reply: “It’s not like the recruitment video!”
That was a real learning experience for the young man. Most of us have had similar incidents across a wide range of situations. Advertising and recruiting ‘pitches’ often fall far short of the actual situation or product they are promoting. Not only do these short-comings appear in many of life‘s regular situations, but they also occur in the spiritual dimension of our lives.
The first recruiting pitch is found in Genesis 3. The serpent assured Eve that if she took the forbidden fruit she would not surely die. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate” (Genesis 3:4-6). We all know how that worked out. No matter how appealing, the ‘pleasures of sin’ (Hebrews 11:12) at best prove to be fleeting and shallow.
The Word of God has much to say to us about ‘the deceitfulness of sin’ (Hebrews 3:13). The evil that is sin will do all it can to persuade you to taste its wares, to embrace its offers, and to sit at its table and eat its food. Jesus said of the devil: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). Jesus warns, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24, NIV).
It is sad to be taken in by deceptive and misleading advertising for goods and services in our worldly lives. It is far more tragic to be deluded by sin in the spiritual areas of life. This can have eternal consequences. Jesus admonishes us to, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
PRAYER: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10).
~ Brother Roy