Monday, September 14, 2015

Tangled Webs and Websites

Recently a website many of us had never heard about grabbed a lot of headlines – mainly because something happened to make lots of people aware of it. And for the most part, not in a good way.

This website was created for the stated purpose of enabling its users to have extramarital affairs. While being discreet. This somehow wasn’t surprising, given the times we live in, when virtually anything goes. The problem occurred when the website was hacked and data from its users became public. Suddenly philandering intentions of people from all walks of life were exposed.

Alas, infidelity isn’t a joking matter and it seems the mates being cheated on – whether in thought, or in actual deed – were not amused. Some of the irate customers of this website proceeded to sue its owners, citing breach of privacy. The fact they had visited and used the website, violating solemn vows to their mates, seemed secondary for some.

Hey, I’m not judging. 1 Corinthians 10:12 emphasizes, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” As someone wisely has observed, unless we’re circumspect and diligent to establish safe boundaries, there’s not a sin anyone’s ever committed that, given the right time, place and circumstances, we’re not capable of committing ourselves.

But thinking about the hapless individuals whose deceptions were suddenly brought to light, what did they really expect? As Numbers 32:23 states, “you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Or as Sir Walter Scott so eloquently wrote, “What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

None of us is perfect. If someone were to look far and deep enough, there’s certain to be something in all of our pasts that we wouldn’t be proud to make public. But the best way to prevent having unwise actions come to light is to avoid committing them in the first place.

Followers of Christ are advised to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). This seems to say we’re not only to avoid actual wrongdoing, but also to steer clear of its general vicinity. As Proverbs 21:29 states, “A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways.”

“I can handle anything but temptation”: This is true for all of us in one way or another. So rather than flirting with bad choices, then suffering the consequences when we act of them, like a child testing how close she can get to a flame without getting burned, it’s wise to keep our distance, no matter how enticing the “opportunity” may seem. 

As the apostle James wrote, Submit yourselves, then, to God. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It’s better to flee than be exposed as a fraud.

1 comment:

Doug Dickson said...

we always find great wisdom in your writings.