When Sinning Seems Saintly: Tricks of the Trade

It is all smoke and mirrors. It is sleight of hand. I can appear holy, but only because I have distracted you. That is the illusion I create and am happy when no one pulls back the curtains or focuses on what I do, rather than what I say.

Avoid fornication in the flesh. Just watch it in form. It is in the music we listen to, the books we read, the movies we watch.

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Don’t get drunk on inebriating substances. Instead overindulge in things that seem to cause no real harm. I have more than I can wear, eat, use, or even give away. But I am sober.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Greet my friends with a smile and my enemies with a smirk. After all, why pretend that these people will ever deserve any compassion from me?

Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.

Ignore the good I see in foes. Point out their failures. At the end of the day, I am trying to help them improve aren’t I?

Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

It takes a real artisan to get this down well. However, the world encourages us to practice constantly. The one who would be a true disciple of Christ must constantly unlearn these very natural, seemingly innocent tricks of the trade. It is a constant struggle. We can win.

Galatians 5:16-17 My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. 17 For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day.