look at videos others recommend for my viewing. As you likely know,
there are some bizarre things to be seen at YouTube. Yes, there are
some cute videos, too, like the dog who seems to be talking as his
master teases him about food that the dog will not get to enjoy.
Videos go "viral" when they have something of particular interest.
One such clip that has gone viral is of a woman who appears to be
doing a personal biography for a dating service. She begins
innocently enough, telling her name and where she attended college.
Very quickly she begins talking about her love for cats, and that's
all she can talk about (through tears at times) for the next couple of
minutes. "This lady needs help" was the response both my wife and I
gave upon viewing this three-minute clip.
I've since learned that there are good reasons to believe that the
video was a setup; she wasn't being genuine, but acting. Almost 11
million have viewed the video (as I write this), and most will feel as
I do when they get wind of its phony nature. We'll all feel duped,
feeling this lady is making big deposits from the money she's earned
as a result of the millions of hits.
"Duped" and "Internet" seem to go hand-in-hand, don't they? Not
everything (or maybe even most things) that appear on the Internet are
dishonest. But "scam" and "phishing" are terms we've learned well as
a result of being connected to the worldwide web. We've learned to be
more careful about whom we'll trust.
The apostle Peter assured his first-century readers that they were not
being duped. "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we
made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but
were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2 Peter 1:16). John begins his
first letter with similar verification: "That which was from the
beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the
Word of life ..." (1 John 1:1). There's no trickery with these
authors; they were firsthand witnesses.
Behind the apostles and other inspired writers, however, is the
ultimate in truth: God Himself. Constantly the truthfulness of God is
stressed throughout the Bible. "The fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous
altogether" (Psalm 19:9). Paul wrote "In hope of eternal life which
God, who cannot lie, promised before time began" (Titus 1:2).
The world is full of confidence men, sordid souls who lie through
smiling lips. When they're finished, you've purchased a product or a
service that turns out to be nothing more than thin air. It matters
not that you are left penniless; they're already on the way to meet
their next victim.
Where do such despicable tendencies come from? Jesus tell us: "...
When [the devil] speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for
he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44). Those who deceive us
have learned their trade from Satan.
The choice before us is clear: Do we allow God to mold us, or Satan?
God is trustworthy, faithful and true. Satan is ... well, you know
the rest of that story.