Deception convinces a person that the decisions they are making are good.

A classic example of deception is seen in Joshua 9. Israel was instructed by God to avoid making covenants with the surrounding nations of Israel. Enter the Gibeonites, a surrounding nation. The people of Gibeon knew the awesome power of God and the future they faced. The future of Gibeon was bleak, so their leaders came up with a plan — a pretty genius plan, if you ask me. The leaders of Gibeon made it appear as though they traveled from a distant land. They made their wineskins look old and their sandals tattered from an apparent long journey. Their presentation must have been effective, because it worked. Israel made a pact with the leaders of Gibeon, despite God’s instruction. Israel was deceived. They believed they were making the right decision, but they weren’t.

That’s the way deception works. It is never clear, and it’s never right. In this situation, Israel didn’t choose to disobey God. They were deceived.

In your situation, it won’t be clear either. It won’t be clear what decision will destroy your marriage, bombard you career or sabotage your relationships, so be careful.

We imagine every situation will be easy to identify. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. The affair doesn’t start right away, but starts with the deception of a very good friendship. Fraud in the workplace isn’t stashing thousands of dollars in your pockets, it starts with the little compromises here and there. A distant relationship with your children doesn’t start with a huge argument, it starts with misappropriated priorities over a long period of time.

Deception leads you to believe that you are making the right decision. Israel believed they were making a strategic decision that would benefit them, and so do we. Fortunately, the Bible gives us some wise counsel on this issue. The apostle Paul warned the Church in Corinth:

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
— 1 Corinthians 10:12

Deception is never clear, and it always goes unannounced. It is imperative for the believer living in this fallen world to be wise and careful in the decisions we make today and the days ahead!