Are Things What They Seem?

There was a time in my life when I was a little more trusting than I am now.  I have to admit that I have to fight the tendency to be cynical.  It appeals to my serious nature.  I have always wanted to think the best of others, but I have found that most of the time, things aren't what they seem.  We live in a great world of deception and confusion.  A land where good is evil, and evil is good.  It seems the only thing that is defined as evil in this land is revealing the truth that lies beneath.  As long as things appear good on the surface, why be concerned otherwise?  I see businessmen manipulate the books so that they won't have a negative light cast upon them when their supervisors give them a review.  I see pastors plagiarizing sermons so that they won't appear boring to their congregation.  I have seen many good men rise and fall in our community, and I fear that we will see more.  There are also those who are so crafty that they have skimmed under the radar for years, and then at some point toward the end of their career or ministry they are caught.  That is really what they are afraid of isn't it? Getting caught?   I had a supervisor once scold me for not cooking the books concerning some production issues.  He never understood why I would rather receive a butt-chewing than look good on paper and receive a pat on the back.  It was tempting, I have to admit.  I really didn't want the trouble.  However, my conscience wouldn't let me do it.  So, I faced the music, and learned a lesson.  I think that in the long run it turned out for the better.  Why did my old boss want me to be dishonest?  I think that he had a belief system and ideology that drove his thinking.  I don't know that he sat around and pondered his methods, but he just like everyone has a theology and philosophy.  The reality is that most people are pragmatists to the point where their standards change depending on the situation.  They are Chameleons.  Their philosophy is "the end justifies the means, and God is in a separate compartment" even if they don't know it because actions bear out many statements.  I personally believe in the infallibility of the Bible.  I believe its content and the central message of the book.  It is the book that judges all books and actions.  A man has to make a decision.  He can decide to be faithful to the truth, or not.  This is a decision that is before us day by day, and moment by moment.  Confession to a Holy God and repentance is among these actions.  I pray that God will give me the grace to see and hear the truth so that I will stay on the narrow path, and have the wisdom to get back on it when I have strayed off of it.  One other issue I see is that "pragmatism at all costs" is a lifestyle and philosophy that has infiltrated the minds of many who call themselves Christian.  Is it wrong to be practical? What does one have to be to be a Christian?  What does the Bible say about this?  These and many other things should be defined before one can call themselves a Christian.  

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