Thursday, March 24

Duplicity

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. --Proverbs 11:3


It doesn't happen very often, but once in awhile I come across a word that sends me running for the dictionary. Today that word happens to be "duplicity", and it means "deliberate deceptiveness in behavior or speech."

As you should be able to tell from its definition, duplicity and integrity are -- for all intents and purposes -- direct opposites. Integrity is a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. What better code is there to which we can adhere than God's Word? Another definition of integrity is "the quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness."

When we are not acting in accordance with God's will for our lives, we are directly setting out to be deceptive. We might try to be good people, and think that we can do our own thing "so long as no one else gets hurt," but serving ourselves for a regular period of time rarely ends well. The greatest choice we must make in life is whether we will serve God or serve His enemy. There can be no half-hearted attempts in this endeavor. We cannot live divided between God and the world. Though we might believe that we will gain everything we desire by doing so, in the end we will be left with nothing.

The Bible is full of verses that tell us how we must live without duplicity. Jesus said that a man cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Later, in Matthew 12:25, we read that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. James 1:7 is yet another example of what lies ahead for the double-minded. We need not look very far to see that duplicity has very few benefits.

God wants us to stop being double-minded. He doesn't want us only to think about him or spend time with him once a week. Unless we decide to serve God wholeheartedly and become people of integrity, we are only one false move away from our own destruction. Sooner or later, our deception will catch up with us-- if not here on earth, then certainly on Judgment Day. The things we do that dishonor God will be brought to light. It is only through his mercy that we can be renewed in our minds and centered wholly and completely on him.

Duplicity. It may be a funny sounding word that many of us don't recognize, but it's an attitude with which many of us are all too familiar. All of us have, at one time or another, been guilty of entertaining this mindset. God can change our hearts and make us people of integrity, worthy of his calling. Let us stop trying to serve both God and the world. There is infinite value in remaining steadfast and faithful to the One who never thought twice about loving us completely.

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