Tag Archives: Attention

From “Daily Meditation” by Rev. Geo. Bowen

Give this some thought…

” He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.” – Pro_28:13.

Almost all men are intent upon appearing better than they really are. If a man cannot be what he ought to be, he attempts at least to appear so. His days are spent in a fraudulent attempt to pass himself off as something better than he is. The same amount of energy devoted to the purification of his character, might result in something good. What watchfulness! What circumspection! What attention to circumstances! What study of men’s characters! What perseverance! What self-command! Were these qualities and habits devoted to the legitimate end of appearing well in the sight of God, what magnificent results would be witnessed. These are the very things that God requires of us: watchfulness, carefulness, perseverance, self-control. Man shows that he is capable of these things; but he exercises them in seeking not the essence, but a fiction; not the favor of God, but that of man.’

The habit is so inveterate that few are conscious of it. They suppose they are acting naturally, and have no conception of the measure of their insincerity. I speak not of the hypocrite, commonly so styled; but of all. The man who says, ” I thank God, I make no profession to be better than others;” he. too, is playing a role, though he cheats himself with the contrary idea.

Insincerity in religion, the endeavor to obtain and perpetuate a reputation for piety, is something exceedingly offensive. There is something monstrous about the idea of offering prayer in such a way as to secure the commendation of man.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; for while he covers them he cannot possibly get rid of them; and their presence will vitiate all prosperity. Let us endure the shame of confessing them, that we may have the abiding glory of being delivered from them. Let us act out our true characters, and take our true place; then we may expect to make progress of the most desirable kind. If man deride, no matter; we have something that they have not. Our position is a more promising one than theirs; for truth is now on our side.

A Thought on Deception

I’ve been going through my e-mail tonight, and I came across a couple of posts that got my attention.  One was from a new subscriber to my blog (always a surprise and thrill and humbling experience) by Keri Williams   who wrote a very compelling article about her son.  I urge you to check it out as she brings up some very good questions.  The other was from my friend, Greg,  over at A Particular Baptist Blog who shared something from someone I have a fondness for who also had something quite interesting to say.  If you read them, you’ll probably wonder what the connection is, or at least how I got my connection between the two.  They don’t  bring up the same points; at least, not on the surface, and in that way they’re a lot like life in that so much of life is connected in ways that we can’t see.

Both are about perception, but while one leads to something that’s true, the other doesn’t, at least not to something that lasts, and it’s this that has put me to writing this post.  How do we know if we’re real?  Seems like a silly question, doesn’t it?  Of course I’m real!  What do you mean?  I know I’m real.  My question to you is really?  Do you know for a fact that you’re real?  What about other people do you know if they’re real? How do you know?  Is there a way to find out?  Now that I’ve got you wondering where I’m going with this, and perhaps confused as well, let me ask you another question: are you real all the time?  Can we be both “real” and “un-real?”

People refer to it in a number of ways.  Some people call it putting on a face.  We all know what I’m talking about even if we all know of it by different names.  At it’s deepest core, when we’ve drilled through all the many layers of motive and reason, and the many, many ways in which we try to hide, cover and camouflage them, we all come to the place where we must face our deception; either that of ourselves, or others, but in most cases, I venture to say both.  That’s certainly the case with me, and I’d be willing to bet it’s the same with you.  We can mention levels of deception if you want, but isn’t that deception, too?  It’s funny that only we, humans, give degrees to what we do.

The thought in one of the posts (you can guess which one or read them and know) was about being a “believer.”  In one a “believer” sees himself as he is, not what others say he is, and clings to it.  The other is a “believer”  in experience, but not in substance, and yet many who’ve had the experience live in the “belief” that they have the substance when in truth they’ve never had it.  I can imagine you reading this and thinking “huh?” right now.  Yet it is true.  Maybe it will help to think of a plant or a tree.  You see them all the time, and they all have the same appearance, and yet you can’t see the root of any of them.  Isn’t it amazing how two trees can be standing side by side, and for years even look the same, and yet one be dead, and the other alive?

It would seem that the conclusion is that no one can tell who is a “believer” and who is not, and that even we ourselves can’t tell, but is that true?  Have you ever walked in the forest with someone who really knows it?  Have you ever really been in the company of someone who is very knowledgeable about their particular field?  How about you?  Can you spot a fake?  Can you tell when someone is pretending?

To the trained eye deception is not the invisible wraith that we like to think it is, and it most certainly isn’t to the one who gave us eyesight.  Now for the real truth, there is a difference between human beings and trees.  As human beings we know when we’re being deceptive and-we may have our reasons (even good reasons)-in choosing to be so, but we do know, and the one who made us…..He knows, too.