Ron's Reflections

Forked-Tongue Foes
Monday, January 25, 2016 by Dr Ron Susek

Forked-Tongue Foes
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
 
    . . . with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
(Psalm 12:2)
           
      Choose your friends slowly and wisely. Equally important, guard what you share with another. You can never know what is in the other person's heart. Feeling good about someone does not mean that you know them.
      Indeed, there are rare--I repeat, "rare!"--friends who will genuinely enter your joys, empathetically share your sorrows and sacrificially guard your vulnerabilities. When God gives you such a person, cherish them as a gift. Too often, others will sell you out for personal advantage.
      Befriending a rattlesnake is not wise. It will never be your friend. Snakes lack a moral compass. They are devoid of affection. They know not faithfulness. A rattlesnake functions on raw animal instinct. To think otherwise is to have your life changed in the "strike" of a second; changed, that is, provided you survive.
      Warning . . . there are forked-tongue people in your life waiting for the right moment to strike. Their facade is beautiful, but their dark side lies motionless, undetected. Their venom is secreted in hidden fangs. David wrote about those who pose as close friends, "His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords" (Psalm 55:21).
      David further lamented, "And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad" (Psalm 41:6). That is bone-crushing. Proverbs 27:6 exposes the use of flattery, ". . . profuse [deceitful] are the kisses of an enemy."
      David prayed, in Psalm 28:3, "Do not drag me away with the wicked . . . who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts" (Psalm 28:3). And Proverbs 11:13 reads,  "Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered."
      Jesus warned that ". . . a person's enemies will be those of his own household" (Matthew 10:36). Such people are double-hearted, skilled at speaking with forked tongues and will use partial truths to cast you in a bad light.
      Describing the horror of such betrayal, David wrote, "For it is not an enemy who taunts me--then I could bear it . . . . But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together . . . ." (Psalm 55:12-14).
      These realities require several considerations. One, guard whom you receive as a friend, and what you share with that person. Two, determine what you offer as a friend. Is your trustworthiness rock-solid or like sinking sand?
      Above all, determine to win the accolade bestowed upon Abraham, who "'. . . believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness'--and he was called a friend of God" (James 2:23).
 
Immanuel: God is with you!
Your friend,
Ron
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