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Making deception look delectable — Gabriel Stovall

Gabriel Stovall

Gabriel Stovall

My mother used to always boast and brag about how she would one day make me eat liver.

She knew it was my least favorite food, and that every time she cooked it — regardless of how it was prepared — I would make the nearest fast-food restaurant my dining choice for that day. This, however, did not stop her from trying.

I remember one particularly hot, late summer day, I had just stepped off the city bus on my way home from school. I remember feeling the pains and the growling of my stomach while trudging up the steep hill leading to my home — those pains reminded me of how I’d forgotten to take my lunch to school that day.

As I finally made my way home and opened my front door, I was greeted with the most heavenly aroma! It smelled like Mom had cooked one of my favorite meals before leaving for work.

I dropped my book bag right in the middle of the living room and sprinted to the kitchen. As I pulled the oven door open, sure enough, there was a meal fit for a hungry high school kid.

And it was my favorite! Round steak and gravy smothered over rice, homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes! Quickly I grabbed the biggest plate I could find, heaped as much steak, rice and gravy on my plate as possible, got a big pitcher of Kool-Aid and prepared to dig in.

I’ll never forget the taste of that first bite. It was horrible! The actual flavor I could not describe, but it was unlike anything I’d ever tasted before.

To be sure, I tried another bite. Same result as the first. Surely something went awry as Mom prepared this meal. Maybe a bad piece of meat, I reasoned. So I picked up the phone and called her.

“Mom, what’s wrong with this meat?” I asked. “Did you leave it out too long? This steak tastes nasty!”

Completely taken off guard by her laughter, I asked: “What’s so funny?”

“Honey,” she replied, almost hysterical at this point. “You didn’t eat steak. You ate liver! I told you I’d get you!”

Now that’s a funny little anecdote, but what my mother did to that liver is what Satan attempts to do to us each and every day — take something bad and dress it up to make it look good.

As a matter of fact, he is the master of making the bad look good and the good look bad. He’s notorious for dressing up bad habits, bad relationships, bad situations, bad circumstances — things that can lead to addiction, destruction, deprivation and defeat in our lives — to make it look like something worth indulging in.

Just like my mother knew that if she gave me liver that looked like liver, I wouldn’t eat it, Satan knows that if he gives the honest and well-meaning Christian sin that looks like sin, chances are we would stay clear of it.

So he dresses it up. He covers up the nastiness with something that looks delicious, and often it’s not until we take a bite that we realize we have been deceived.

This is why an intimate knowledge of the truth in God’s Word is so vital for the holiness-bound Christian today. In an age of “tolerance,” where all seems abstract and everything is relative, God’s Word must stand as the one true beacon of light and truth.

It is inerrant, irreplaceable, never irrelevant, and always serves as our sword (see Ephesians 6:10-17) — our one and only weapon of offense to counter the onslaught of Satan. We must prayerfully study it, not just for information for our minds, but for a transformation of our hearts.

Remember this: Intimately knowing God’s truth will protect us from falling for Satan’s lies.