Thus, by their fruits you will recognize them.
When we get home from school, if it's too cold or rainy to play outside, our mom allows us to watch reruns of the classic television show, "Leave it to Beaver".
My brother, Bill, and I love the characters and enjoy seeing "The Beave" get into one scrape after another. There are countless life lessons in these episodes and lots of good advice for one growing up.
There is one personality, though, with whom we have a difficult time identifying: Eddie Haskell. Blatantly two-faced, he acts one way around his buddies and the opposite way in front of adults.
When Beaver's mother opens the door for Eddie to enter, she hears, "Good afternoon, Mrs. Clever. My! What a lovely dress you have on today."
But, when alone with Beaver's older brother, Wally, he waves his true colors. He becomes a braggart. A wise guy. A know-it-all.
And, a would-be bully to Beaver if Wally didn't intervene.
In a word, Eddie is obnoxious.
Sadly, there are many Eddie Haskells dwelling among us.
They are in the workplace. The schoolhouse. The churches.
Putting on a plastic, subservient face before the boss, then demeaning him behind his back. Polite as punch to a teacher, yet mean as a snake to one's peers. Presenting a humble, pious demeanor at worship, but humiliating or abusing the family in the privacy of the home.
Dangerous . . .
Shrunken, disheveled raisins masquerading as luscious, succulent grapes.
"By their fruits you will recognize them."
But, do we?
I know I have been fooled more times than I like to admit.
How about you?
Will you pray with me?
Let us not be deceived, Father, by false teachers or prophets on our journey of faith. Open our eyes to Your Word and Your Truth as You would have us see them. Help us to love and pray for those who have lost their way. Amen.
Psalms 75, 76 or 23, 27
2 Thessalonians 3:1-18