Wednesday, September 7, 2016
One of the meanings of the word deflect in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “to keep (something, such as a question) from affecting or being directed at a person or thing.” If you have been paying attention to the rhetoric involving the current presidential campaign, I’m sure you have heard many deflections lately. To be more specific, you have seen representatives from both major political parties go to great lengths to defend the words or actions of their candidates by employing this tactic. Another word for deflection is diversion. This tactic can also be referred to as a smokescreen and will often feature someone trying to either ignore or change the subject. I was more than slightly amused recently when hearing one of the running mates do everything but answer a simple question he was asked, and you won’t hear anyone confessing it at the present time but I’ve got a hunch that some of these surrogates go home thinking within themselves, “How long do I have to go on defending him or her?”
I’m sorry I lingered more than I should on this nasty subject but I only did so because this practice is employed, not only in the world of politics, but also by Christians. In fact, it is very possible we’ve all done it at one time or another. As I mentioned before, we can do it when we try to openly defend a friend or a loved one who doesn’t merit being defended. It is clearly a form of hypocrisy. We can also do it when we try to justify our own sins or mistakes. One biblical example of this is found the 34th Chapter of Genesis. Two of Jacob’s sons committed a heinous murderous crime against many innocent men because of the actions of one of them. When Jacob confronted them about it, instead of owning up to their horrible crime, they tried to justify their actions by replying: “Should he have treated our sister (Dinah) as a prostitute?” (Gen. 34:31) It was their way of saying “they deserved it” or “what they did to us was worse.” Bottom line: It is never right to do wrong and there is never a justification for it.
How does all this relate to us? We should never try to defend or stand up for someone who does wrong, regardless of how much he or she means to us. If we really love them, it should not be that hard to tell them the truth and advise them to own up to their wrongdoings, especially after we’ve asked the Lord to help us. Neither, should we try to shift the blame on someone else when we or someone we favor has done wrong. As King David wrote a long time ago: “Behold, thou (God) desirest truth in the inward parts.” (Psalm 51:6 KJV) If we were to be flagged down for violating the speed limit, would it be to our benefit to tell the police officer that many drivers were going faster than us? I pray that the next time we try to deflect, the Lord’s Spirit will quickly point it out to us and give us the grace to correct ourselves.
God’s promise for today: (Proverbs 20:7 New Century Version) “ The good people who live honest lives will be a blessing to their children.”