Getting Rid Of Guile
God's work in our lives involves getting rid of all behaviors such as manipulating others and hypocrisy. The definition of guile: getting what you want at someone else's expense.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ all right? I trust everything’s all right at your house. If you’ve struck a rough day, look up and say, “Jesus, help me through this one.” And He will. For He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
Well this is your friend Bob Cook, and I’m sitting here with the big timer in front of me, and a couple of microphones, and the tape recorder, and my comfortable assortment of things around me. Let’s see what’s here right in front of me. There is a rubber stamp, will have my name and address. There are two calculators and a small, small pocket tape recorder, and a, and a Chinese chop mark that I got when I was in China. And 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Bibles, and two New Testaments: the Greek New Testament, and some other things. And there’s a great big cup-full of pencils and, and pens that from which I select when I want to write something. Well there’s all sorts of things. And I’m comfortable with it because it sort of belongs here, that’s all. (Laughs)
And I’m with you, and that’s the best part of it, isn’t it? I’m so glad we could get together day by day. I tell you, there’s a vast deep sense of gratitude in my heart for the privilege that we have of getting together around the Word of God. Thanks to God’s dear people who make it possible, those radio stations that air the program. Don’t forget to thank God and thank people for the things you enjoy.
Well we’re in 1 Peter 2. And I was telling you the last time we got together, that Peter uses the word ‘all’ for emphasis because if you’re going really to act effectively on anything the Word of God says to you, it has to be complete action. I had to learn that when it was time to wash my face. I use to wash with a, with a de minimis kind of, of action where I would just rub the, the cloth around my face and then, and then wipe off the, the moisture and some of the dirt on the towel, and then march on in to hopefully to sit down to a meal. And someone was sure to look at me and say “Robert did you wash?” (Laughs)
This, this, this would be in days when I was living on a farm in Ohio. You know, and you get dusty and dirty from being outside. Oh yes I, I’d wash, and they’d take a look at me, whoever it was, my uncle Frank or my aunt Esther, or somebody, take a look at me and say, “No you didn’t wash come on.” And they’d propel me back out of the kitchen, into the little shed that had the, the basin of water and the old roller towel. And, and then I would get washed behind my ears and on my, the back of my neck, as well as around the front of my face. All of me needed to be clean.
“All malice, lay aside all malice, and all guile, all evil speakings.” So we were saying, put it all on the altar. Don’t reserve any special little corner of your heart where you will nurture that, that hurt, or that resentment, or that hatred, or whatever it may be. Don’t do it. Put it all in His hands. Will you do that?
Then he said, “All guile.” Now guile is the attempt to manipulate other people. We are a manipulative race, now there is no doubt about that. How early, how early in life the little, the little infant learns that it pays to, to cry. Because if you cry loud and long enough you get picked up, and loved, and fed, and changed. And so later on in the, in the ones, and twos, and threes, and fours, and on through life., that becomes a learned skill. “If I do this, somebody else will do that. If I say this, someone else will say that.” Manipulative behavior. Now there’s no law against being wise and being tactful. “The soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger,” said the wise man.
God is not the God of, of bulldozer, conductor language where you ride roughshod over other people’s feelings. God is in favor of, of wisdom, and tact, and gentle words, and wise words. “How forcible,” the Bible says, “are wise words” – right words. So we’re not saying that there’s anything wrong with, with a wise choice, either of your words or your conduct. What we are saying is that if you want really to go on with God, you want to do something about the fact that He’s saved, you and that that salvation is based on His eternal Word, and that He is indeed God Almighty working in your life. Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
If you want to be serious about that, Peter says you’d better do a thorough job on this matter of guile, which is behavior – words and behavior calculated to manage other people, manipulate other people, get what you want without the other person realizing it. Guile. Don’t do it. That kind of behavior does not honor the Lord Jesus Christ. Now mind you, the new businessmen are all ready to, to, to talk back to me, I know. What I’m saying is not in weighing against good management. The Bible is full of, of exhortations and, and ideas about good management. “The prudent man foreseer of the evil and hideth himself, the simple pass on and are punish.” Planning is part of the way God works.
Wisdom in the way you speak and act is the way God works. There’s no law against being efficient, and against good management of your business. “Seest thou man, diligent in his business. He shall stand before Kings, he shall not stand before Me and men,” the Bible says. So we’re not, we’re not talking about, about those extremes. What we are saying is that the, the desire to get what you want at the cost of somebody else’s discomfort perhaps, the desire to get what you want by manipulating other people is something that you and I have to lay aside by faith. It’s not what I want that counts, it’s what God wants. It’s not how I feel that counts, it’s how the other person feels about Jesus, that counts.
Guile. Guile, the attempt to get what I want at the other person’s expense. Just lay it aside, doesn’t work, not with God. Then he says, “And hypocrisies…” Now this is the obverse side of that coin. If guile is the attempt to get what I want at the other person’s expense, hypocrisy is the attempt to look good to the other person, see? That’s the obverse side of the coin. Hypocrisy is the desire to look good in the eyes of the other person. Hypocrisy is the attempt to look like something you are not.
He said, “Lay it aside.” Jesus our Lord warned about hypocrisy. You’ll find it there in Luke 11, I, Luke 12. He said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” that word ‘leaven’ is our word ‘yeast’. The yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Now he used the word yeast because you put yeast in a batch of bread dough, and you know what happens to it, don’t you? The, the whole batch of dough begins to rise, and before long it’s, the yeast has gone through all of that, that whole mix.
(Laugh) I remember the first day I was going to bake bread when I was, I think I was in high school then. So I got some flour, and some milk, and some shortening and, and some salt, and some sugar – that’s about all what you need. And I was going to make bread. Well I got it all together, and the mixture was nice and warm so the yeast would, would, would work. And then I thought, “Well, I’ll go up and play ball with the kids in the alley for a little while, while this bread rises, and I forgot. And I stayed longer than I should have. When I came back that yeast had risen in the dough, the, the, the bubbles that it releases as the yeast spores multiply had caused that dough to rise over the top of the bowl and onto the top of the table and the table tilted a little because the floor tilted a little. And so the dough ran off the, the, the top of the table onto the floor, and on the floor toward the doorway of that rented room on the second floor of an old house in East Toledo.
Oh yes, the yeast had worked. “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” Luke 12:1. “There’s nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known. What you ever you’ve spoken in darkness, heard in the light in which you’ve spoken, in the closet the hearing closet shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
There isn’t any percentage, there isn’t any markup in hypocrisy. There’s no future in it. You can’t keep a secret anyway; it does come out. My, we’ve had such a rash of revealed secrets in government, and in religion, and in business. Everywhere you look have been an epidemic of things popping up that folk tried to keep secret.
Well, Jesus said don’t do it, there is no future in it, there is no markup in it, it won’t work. What you thought was a secret whispered in somebody’s ear is going to show up on the evening television news. So he says, and Peter says, “Lay at aside, lay aside hypocrisy.” Don’t try to appear to be something that you are not. Be the real article, be real. Now you can be a better person everyday if you work at it. What we’re saying here gives me no excuse to keep on bumbling my way through life and through people’s feelings.
You can be a better person and an, and easier to get along with if you work at it. That is not hypocrisy, that’s just good sense. Hypocrisy is putting on an attitude, putting on a look, putting on a character. Like an actor, playacting, is the way someone has paraphrased it. Hypocrisy he says, “Lay it aside, don’t do it.” Why? If you’re serious about Jesus, you want to be real with people for His sake, not your own.
Dear Father, today help us to be real with you, and with people for Jesus sake. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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