Believe it or not, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes, even genders and age groups. They’re pretty universal. And they’re getting quite a bit of well-deserved press these days.
Bullies, that is. We even had to watch a mandated presentation at work about bullying and related topics of abuse that can happen in (and out of) the school environment. After all, it is the responsibility of every adult to endeavor to make the school a safe place for the children.
Did you know that middle school kids lie? Now I realize that may be an astounding revelation to some, so don’t choke on your Coke. One of the wonderful teachers I’ve worked with for years cracks me up; she encourages the kids to “come up with something better than THAT” when they feed her an obvious falsification about why they don’t have their homework. (She’s been around a while…)
Of course, kids aren’t the only ones skilled in what my brother-in-law refers to as “a flexible sense of integrity.” For example—
The story of Hezekiah is fascinating. Here the king of the formidable Assyrian nation comes knocking on Judah’s door demanding submission, or else. Reading the accusations, there are several things the Assyrian head of state gets wrong:
He says that the God of the Hebrews Himself told him to attack and subdue Judah, (2 Kings 18:25). Okay, that’s been done before so the idea isn’t completely foreign; however…,
In the paragraph preceding that part of his tirade, he asserts that Yahweh is pretty ticked off with Hezekiah for destroying all the other alters of worship expect the one in Jerusalem, (2 Kings 18:22). Guess the king of Assyria hadn’t done his background homework, because those other alters were one of the very things that made God quite upset with His people, and tearing them down was a definite plus in the Jews’ ledger sheet.
Then this would-be tourist proceeds to lump Yahweh into the list of “all the other gods” who were unable to stand before the mighty Assyrian nation, (2 Kings 18:33-35). That was certainly an epic fail. Not only was this a colossal insult, but also an incongruity in his argument—why would God tell the Assyrians to destroy His people if He couldn’t Himself stand up to the instrument of His own choosing?
There’s more to be gleaned from this account of Hezekiah’s dealings with Assyria, but here’s one of the points worth mentioning:
Liars have to keep lying, and generally someone is going to catch their slip, whether it’s a gap in logically reasoning, a contradiction, whatever. You have to have a certain level of talent to deceive consistently, (granted, there are quite a few talented people around today.)
Satan, however, is the best, as he has been at it quite some time now with amazing proficiency.
“When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
And his lies are not merely to inconvenience, but like the king of Assyria, Satan has much bolder plans—
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.”
Satan’s lies are aimed at the heart, the very place God says we are to guard since “the wellsprings of life” come from that very spiritual place. And what is at the heart of every Christian, but our intimacy with our Father Himself? Satan will try every which way to convince us that we are rejected by God, not accepted into the family of God, or at the very best, a doormat for the more “important” saints. Or that God, Himself, is mad at us.
The list goes on, but eventually his logic does break down, because it’s no match for the Cross.