Monday, January 19, 2015

DISCERNMENT or DECEPTION (pt 1)

Gullible—easily deceived or cheated

Con artists prey on gullible people. Internet scams are run on gullible people. Pranks are played on gullible people.

Most of society makes fun of gullibility. Yet, when we do, we are exalting the practice of deception. Is that really what we want to be known for?

What is the one key factor that most gullible people have? They are trusting individuals.


Obviously, that is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it is this one characteristic that allows the con artist to continue his existence.

The famous quote, often, but wrongly so, attributed to P.T. Barnum, says, “There is a sucker born every minute.” And so it seems.

It is that fact of our human experience that has wrought much havoc on the life and livelihood of many a person throughout human history.

The only real protection against such wiliness seems to be the adoption of the Missouri idea of “believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.” Missouri is nicknamed the “Show Me State.”

However, that, too, presents its own set of problems.

Yes, you will probably avoid ever being scammed, but you will also avoid recognizing opportunity when it arrives.

Is there a better way to avoid being deceived?
YES.
  • It is a skill that can be developed through practice.
  • Developing this skill will allow you to recognize when someone is trying to deceive you.
  • Practicing this skill will allow you to recognize when someone is telling you the truth.
  • Possessing this skill will allow you to be seen as a trusting individual who is worthy of respect.
Regardless of your age or ability, this skill can be developed and used for your protection and prosperity.

DECEPTION

What Is Deception?

DECEPTION—the act of making someone believe something that is not true : the act of deceiving someone
an act or statement intended to make people believe something that is not true
(retrieved from
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deception 1/5/2015)

BELIEF is the key to everything about your life. Everything you say, think, or do is based upon some belief. Even what you believe is based upon a belief.

Now, go back and read the definition again to see the importance of the concept of deception.

The Practice of Deception
  • Telling a lie
  •  Not telling the whole truth
  •  Having a hidden agenda when talking
  •  Deceptive actions

When a person tells a lie, it is obvious that they are trying to deceive. A child does this when afraid of “getting into trouble.” A spouse does this when not wanting to be discovered doing something inappropriate.

Often, not telling everything one knows about a situation is used to make the teller look good. Young siblings do this when confronted by their parents for a ruckus. “She hit me first” may be technically true, but it hides the fact of the first one antagonizing the other until she struck out in frustration.

“Snake-oil salesmen” and the proverbial “used-car salesman” are types of those who shield the complete truth about their product.

Having a hidden agenda is often practiced by those who desire to control others. They ask questions or make insinuations in such a way as to manipulate one into a trap, or into revealing information that can be used against them.


Personal Anecdote
The pastor of the last church of which I was a member confronted me on more than one occasion with the statement, "I still don't know what you believe about tithing.I had posted some comments on Facebook that could possibly indicate that I do not "toe the line" of traditional teaching about tithing.Because he did not ask me specifically, "What do you believe about tithing?" I made no comment on either instance. I refused to be manipulated into a position that could cause harm to me or those to whom I ministered.(BTW. That particular has since been shown to be a controller and a manipulator who does not have the best interests of his flock at heart.)

Deceptive actions are most readily seen in the magician who uses sleight-of-hand for his tricks. The audience is deceived by his trickery, and usually loves it that way. This, of course, is usually harmless.

But, what about the person who hugs you when they see you at church, but then talks negatively about you with every person they come in contact with? (Pro. 23:7)

Deception is all around us everyday. Marketing campaigns are designed to deceive you into thinking that you absolutely must have whatever it is they are hawking. Of course, the marketers will deny the “deceiving” term and say “persuade” instead. The result is the same.

We have become so accustomed to being deceived that we take it as simply a part of life, something that is really “no big thing.”

And therein lies the greatest deception of all.

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