Along the Way: When Deception Becomes Reality

My psalm reading this morning took me to these words of David describing someone living under the influence of evil,

“Your tongue devises destruction: it’s like a sharpened razor, causing deception.You love evil more than good; you love lying more than speaking what is right. You love all destructive words; you love the deceiving tongue” (Psalm 52:2-4).

The psalm lays bare what kind of life a person lives when deception becomes reality–when it becomes the world we live in.

The connection between this psalm and last night’s revelations about Donald Trump (confirming what we already know) bring David’s insights to bear upon one who is among the most pathetic people we have seen in our lifetime. We watched Donald Trump live in the only reality he knows–deception. It is a world he created all the way back into his relationships with his parents and siblings, and then continued to live in for decades in his personal ethics and business endeavors. Somewhere along the way his world became deception. He cannot live any other way because deception is reality for him.

In the note for Psalm 52, I read this, “Wesley was convinced that living truthfully is a mark of God’s grace in our lives.” [1] David did not excuse himself from that reality, as the previous psalm (Psalm 51) shows. The comment note continues, “According to Wesley, God’s prevenient (preventing) grace assists us to be honest with God, ourselves, and others.”

Indeed it does. Grace creates another reality–the reality of truth telling and truth living. Last night we saw on full display the opposite of that. But the point of this post is not to single out Donald Trump. He just happens to be an “Exhibit A” evidence of a life of someone who is a stranger to grace.

The juxtaposition of David’s ancient words and Donald’s current words is its own illustration. It is a sad and sobering reminder of how imprisoned anyone is when deception becomes reality.

[1] ‘The Wesley Study Bible’ (Common English Bible), 724.

(Also posted on Oboedire)

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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