Tag Archives: wolves

When Evil is Praised, God is not Mocked… Enjoy Your Orchard! 

Does it burn you up to see people getting praise who don’t deserve it? The devil blinds people to the truth. His job is to accuse genuine Christian believers, and to convince the weak to help him do his dirty work. The devil is the Deceiver, Father of lies, and the Accuser. He works hard to convince people to hate real Christians who love Jesus. The ONE and ONLY way to know the truth, is the PURSUE JESUS. 

People who ignore Jesus, choosing not to not talk or walk with him at all; might as well walk around covering their eyes and ears. There is NO way to be aware of the truth if you choose not to be its friend… for Jesus IS Truth! Only those of us who listen to God’s instruction can know the truth. We want nothing to do with the false praises of wicked people, and instead run to the arms of our Savior:  “Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them” (Prov. 28:48 New International Version).

People who falsely praise wicked people, usually do so out of fear. They want to stay in the “good graces” of someone they deem as “powerful,” or someone who can give them false security or what they consider to be favors. They choose to live a lie, instead of seeking the truth, when we should instead be desiring to stay within the good grace of God. God is the Only One Who can provide everything we need, and give us true security and joy. To not acknowledge Him, or lead others to Him, is to walk away from the truth. 

If we really want to know fact from fiction about a person, place, or situation; we need to ask Jesus about it. When we go our own way, we leave ourselves open to all the tricks of the enemy; and the enemy is very good at pretending! “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Cor. 11:14-15). This means there are people out there pretending to be Christians! These wolves are even fooling Christians who have abandoned the path of truth and righteousness! Jesus will be more than happy to talk and walk with those who find their way back to his path. We have nothing to lose if we follow Jesus… but everything to lose if we don’t!

Jesus says we can differentiate genuine believers from non-believers by inspecting their fruit. There are good trees, bad trees, and their fruit.  What kind of trees are in your orchard? Are they dead, or are they producing delicious fruit? Everything you need to know about real Christians and those who pretend to be Christians; is written in the Bible. We can find out about truth ahead of time, instead of waiting until we find ourselves in a desperate situation! 

When we see evil bring praised by men, the silver lining is God knows about it. His Word tells us not to worry about it, because He knows the truth about what is really going on. Even though it’s hard to watch when people praise men and women who are wicked,  God will not be mocked. He tells us that people who choose to participate in evil, will get what they deserve. He even reminds us in this Psalm “Of David. Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away” (Psalm 37:1-2). We can go about enjoying our lives, because God will provide justice in His good and perfect timing!

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8).


Pursue Jesus, and enter an orchard where good trees bear good fruit! 

Join us at The Silver Lining, as we explore the topic of truth. Explore other related topics, as well. Find daily encouragement on The Silver Lining Facebook ministry page. There will be godly posts and scriptures shared by myself and other Christian writers who love Jesus! 

Fools and the Foolish… Is it ALL just “Fun and Games?”

It’s April Fool’s Day! It’s a silly day for playing some good ol’ funny jokes and having a bit of fun! At the same time, there’s a fine line when it comes to making sure we don’t sin in our silliness; by telling lies to our loved ones and friends, using their phobias to frighten them, and forgetting that a joke is supposed to make people laugh, instead of causing others to be distressed. Foolish people always seem to cross over the line, all in the name of “fun and games.”

Those who cross boundaries, by hurting other people in order to get a laugh, are desperately in denial when they claim, ” It was just a joke.”  Jokes are supposed to make everyone break out in a chorus of laughter. If you’re among several people telling “jokes,” and someone else is not smiling, or is even on the verge of tears; there’s surely a fool in the group; one whom has left their good sense and compassion behind. 

Hanging around with fools interferes with healing; so if you’re trying to heal, you better learn how to tell a foolish man from a wise man; and take the high road. The Bible gives us all kinds of warnings about fools: how to identify who they are, red flag warnings about what they do, commands to stay away from them, and instructions on how to handle them. We need to keep our eyes and ears focused on Jesus, so we won’t pay heed to fools when they come around, and…fools… will… always… come…back…around.   

Do not let a fool lie to you, and tell you that you’re the problem, when it’s the fool living an unrepentant, ungodly life. A fool will accuse you, spouting off lies, such as: “You have no sense of humor… You can’t take a joke… You’re no fun!” All the more reason to avoid fools; being that their lies get into our heads. These ugly lies take a toll on our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical  health; blocking the way to the healing God wants to provide for us. We must pray against these lies, and renounce each one in the name of Jesus; for as long as it takes for them to disappear completely. 

God also promises He will deal harshly with fools who try to intervene in our lives by: spreading their foolishness around, attempting to destroy us, our reputations, and our ministries; and doing it all through the spreading of gossip, lies, and slander. Protect yourself from fools by using biblical boundaries. Know that when you finally decide  to let your heart heal, and put the necessary boundaries in place, so you can live a productive life which is pleasing to God; fools…will …always… come… back… around. “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Prov. 13:20 NIV).

When you refuse to engage with unrepentant hearts, cruel jealousy, and the raging anger of fools; these very fools will rush in and attempt to get you to believe even more ugly lies about yourself. You will hear things such as: “You are a coward… You are unforgiving… It’s all your all fault… You’re unreasonable… You’re so difficult… You’re delusional… You need psychological help.” These kinds of hateful lies can get in your head if you are not keeping Jesus in the center of your life. You must renounce these negative lies in the name of Jesus. Ask God to remove the lies from your mind, and fill you with His Holy Spirit. Ask Him to replace the lies with His beautiful truth, and His promises to restore you; and bring health to your body, mind, spirit, and soul. Always, Let God be your affirmation… not fools. “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are” (Prov. 26:4 NIV).

God tells us to stay away from fools for a good reason. He doesn’t want us to become distracted by people who are more interested in generating a laugh, getting attention for a juicy bit of news, and making someone the “butt of a joke, at the expense of making themselves look “good;” instead of living a life which brings true joy by choosing to grow wise; and bring honor and glory to God. If we blindly walk around ignorant of the senseless, sinful folly of simple fools; we will be more susceptible to being fooled by the more manipulative wolves and pretenders. This, in turn, leaves us vulnerably open to something even more evil, insidious, and dangerous; the devil himself. For the devil is a great deceiver, and he looks to fool you each and every day, and he knows how to make it look like it’s all “fun and games.” “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Pet. 5:8-9 New International Version).

But the silver lining lies ahead for those of us who trust Jesus, and look to God as our shelter in the storm! We have supernatural protection from all fools and pretenders, and we have power and authority in Jesus Christ, to also stand against the schemes of the devil! Only children of God have this promise of God’s Almighty Protection! “When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Cor. 2:10-11 New Living Translation).


So go ahead: wave a colored rubber snake and run around the house, put blue food coloring in the milk of your kid’s cereal, tell a friend his shoe is untied or your mom that her shirt is inside-out, and scream as you throw a rubber chicken in the kitchen while you’re preparing dinner! Giggle at all the reactions; laugh, and give hugs! Celebrating with a little bit of silly foolishness on April Fool’s Day, is a good reminder of just how important it is to be alert and diligent, so we don’t get fooled by the real foolish antics of others. Gain wisdom to avoid being fooled. All we have to do, is ask God, and He will freely give it! “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (Jas. 1:5 NIV).


Have more fun by avoiding the company of fools; get more joy by gaining wisdom!

Let God be Your Affirmation… not Fools!

Sometimes I get discouraged, and doubt creeps in. I wonder if my blog is making a difference in other people’s lives. There are times of great response, with comments and sharing; and other times there are personal affirmations from others (my favorite) and sometimes silence, when my heart remains grateful to my most encouraging friends! But God keeps giving me words to write! The words rain down upon me, and I can’t write them fast enough, because I know The Silver Lining is coming; and a whole bunch of people need to see God’s miraculous promise of a rainbow! 

There have been times people have come to me, saying they did not know where to turn, but had thought of my blog; The Silver Lining, and decided to contact me. What an honor to be sought out specifically by hopeful people, who reach out, believing their questions and problems will be received with God’s grace! This makes my heart sing! Sometimes the issue has been sickness; at other times marriage, children, or a friend. Someone may need prayer for depression, lonliness, or to battle the stronghold of a sin. It might be just a quick question about scripture interpretation, or best of all; the opportunity to lead someone to Jesus Christ. 

I don’t have all the answers; I’m still continuously learning myself. But I’m God’s willing servant, wanting to help others where I can. Sometimes I receive a one-time message or phone call. Other times there are several meetings over coffee; where I’m trusted to listen, offer biblical counsel, and pray for precious souls. 

God has also created opportunities for friendships to evolve and grow. I consider it such a joyful privilege, to have been chosen by God to bless others, through both the written and spoken word. This morning, as I read Proverbs 10, I was given a gift. God showed me how valuable my encouraging words really are, regardless of the feedback:

For the Bible says, “The words of the godly are like sterling silver, the heart of a fool is worthless. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense”  (Prov. 10:20-21 New Living Translation). God is saying my words are valuable! 

As if that weren’t already a beautiful blessing, God is saying my words encourage many, whether I am aware of it or not! God is talking about godly people in those verses. That means God is talking about me! I’m not godly because I’m perfect; I’m far from it! I’m godly because Jesus lives inside of me! I daily repent, seeking forgiveness for my sins. I pursue Jesus, seek God’s wisdom, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill me. I am godly, because I’m a child of God!

But when God’s gives gifts to His children, He blesses abundantly. As I reflected upon His promises, and the truth that my godly words are valuable and an encouragement to many; He showed me something else: The words of fools are worthless.  Fools will even be destroyed, because they don’t have common sense! God obviously really, really means it, for there’s more:

“The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land. The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words” (prov. 10:30-33).


Wow!  Not only is God further verifying that my godly words are helpful to others, He is reiterating the fact that foolish people’s words are useless. God tells us the words of a fool are deceitful and perverse. In fact, God hates foolish talk so much, that He promises to cut it off. He promised to remove wicked people from the land and leave us godly people happily undisturbed

Do you realize what this means for genuine Christian bloggers, evangelists, street ministers, pastors, youth leaders, and more? It means God has our backs! God is not fooled by copy cats and knock-offs. God knows the difference between fool’s gold, and solid 14k treasure. God is going to take care of the fools, the deceivers, the false prophets, the fake teachers, the pretenders, and the wolves in sheep’s clothing! No matter what it looks like right now, which kind of fools or obstacles try to stand in your way; they are nothing compared to the great plans and callings God has for His children, the godly ones!

So be encouraged, all you godly children! Keep on doing whatever you are doing to grow the Kingdom of God, knowing and trusting that your work is greatly valuable, and encouraging to others. Don’t let any slanderous fools lie to you and tell you you’re unworthy to share the gospel; or that your ministry is no good, or that you’re not making a positive, godly difference. Foolish words from foolish people don’t mean a thing. For GOD is the ultimate authority over all things. God’s got this!

“Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thes. 4:18 English Standard Version)





Narcissistic Abuse? There’s Hope!

Have you been abused by a narcissist? You’re not alone! Really! If you would like some links about narcissism, please message me, and I’ll send you some helpful information which relates to your specific situation. Narcissistic people all act the same way, and do the same things. This is because they are all pretending to be different (and false) personalities. They are also all involved in self-worship ( idolatry) when they should be bowing down before The Lord God, with humble, repentant hearts. Visit The Silver Lining blog, and learn how to do spiritual warfare against selfish, self-centered people. Find out how the battle the spirits at war against you! Learn why it’s so important to pray for your enemies! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 New International Versions).

If you are, or have ever been the victim of a narcissist, you already know the damage, detriment, and destroying which occurs as a result. But the silver lining is NOTHING compares to the life-changing truths, love, and protection which GOD has for you! Also, with JESUS, narcissists are powerLESS to ruin your life! Not only that, but YOU have the POWER and AUTHORITY in Christ Jesus to go forward, heal, and follow God’s amazing calling for your life! “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:31)?

Only Jesus can heal the deep-rooted pain inflicted by a narcissist it. Only God can reveal it! Visit and subscribe to my blog, The Silver Lining, and type ‘narcissism’ in the search tab. It’s just a fancy word for the sin of extreme self-centeredness. It will give you a head start, and hope in Jesus, towards healing and turning your life around; you will finally begin gaining your freedom in Christ! Learn how God can pick up your painful broken bits and pieces, and put you wholly (and holy!) back together again, by giving you the joyful life He meant for you to have in the first place! Why? Because God Loves YOU! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).

I invite you to ‘like’ The Silver Lining Facebook page, so you won’t miss a single post. From there, you can easily invite your friends to join.In addition to my blog posts, my Facebook page contains crucial content by other Christian authors on the topic of narcissism. There are also more encouraging uplifting posts on a variety of topics to bring you light on your darkest days. Let’s share beautiful bits of The Silver Lining on Instagram too! I hope to see  you there! May God bless you as you pursue Jesus, and search for The Silver Lining! 💙

 

Pursue The Shepherd to Escape the Wolves!

Everyone is free to believe as they wish, but no one should fool themselves into believing he or she will ever understand the truth about anything in life without pursuing God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. If God says there are wolves among us, pretending to be Christians, He means it. It’s true. We need to pay attention to God’s warning, as we walk with Jesus and begin to view the world with godly, spiritual eyes. As our eyes and ears become open to the truth, we come to a place where we are no longer willing to be blinded and deceived by fake Christians, pretenders, or wolves in sheep’s clothing. We can rely on Jesus, refusing to get reeled in by the lies of self-centered, narcissistic people who are only interested in themselves. Many people also proudly rely on self, instead of looking towards God for guidance. Sadly, they will remain unable to escape the sharp hook of deception, and will lose out on the freedom of exploring the vast ocean of joy God has waiting for them. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:33 New International Version).

To find truth, we must give our lives to Christ, and continuously pursue him. Christians follow Jesus in spite of their mistakes and imperfections. Christians are people who change, because they grow over time. Sometimes the changes come quickly, and others can take much more time. But the changes will be good changes, reflecting the character of Christ. If there are no positive changes and spiritual growth, one should ask God if He’s pleased with the spiritual journey He’s watching from up above. When a child of God is stuck in a rut, it’s likely that repentance, forgiveness, and prayer are all necessary to bring back a wandering heart. God is always waiting with open arms to receive His lost children!

True Christians are followers of Christ. They don’t just talk; they walk with Jesus. They humbly accept that they are not perfect, but seek to do unto others as Jesus would do. Christians forgive each other, and forgive in the name of Jesus when it’s too hard to do it on their own. Christians don’t demand forgiveness. Christians humbly seek forgiveness with a repentant heart. They want to know how they’ve offended a brother or sister in Christ, so they can fix what’s broken. The Bible tells us not to judge or condemn others. These sinful attitudes get in the way of forgiveness. Other strongholds which keep people seeing God clearly are: stubbornness, anger, bitterness, denial, and even rejection. As The Holy Spirit reveals these, it is our place to ask God to remove them in the name of Jesus. Healing, freedom, and joy take place. Forgiveness then comes easier, and more naturally, just as it does with Jesus.

Some people only pretend to give their lives to Christ. Others actually do receive their salvation, yet go on living the same lives they led before; lives that don’t include God. This isn’t God’s will for His children. God is our Creator. He wants a relationship with us. God is omniscient; He knows whether we’ve really given our lives to Him. He looks at our hearts: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’ ” (1 Sam. 16:7 ). God also sees us bearing fruit, and planting seeds which lead to others growing in Christ.

When you are with a Christian, you should see and hear and feel Jesus reflected in the heart of that person. You should be able to see light in that person’s eyes, rather than darkness. You should hear words that uplift and encourage you, rather than words that leave you angry, bitter, and confused. You should feel hopeful, peaceful, and comforted after spending time with a Christian, rather than feeling anxious and depressed. Real Christians grow fruit; they leave the world a better place by leading others to Jesus. Their lives show evidence of joy, grace, and the mercy of God’s love.

We all have times of conflict with brothers and sisters in Christ, but these should not override the goodness seen within them; the goodness that comes from having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Many people daily refer to themselves as Christians just because they go to church or do good deeds, but they have not truly given their lives to Christ. Instead they choose to live life without any regard to God’s commandments and callings. Their walk does not reflect the character of Christ, so it causes others to have a warped, false, and negative view of the pure goodness of Christianity.

The bible tells us evil will masquerade as light. We need to pursue Jesus, asking for wisdom to discern fake Christians (wolves) from genuine Christians (sheep). Wolves are jealous and vengeful. They gossip, lie, and stir up strife on a regular basis. Because of their vicious nature, they can get in the way of the amazing plans God has for you! Therefore, be diligent, and heed God’s warning: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matt.7:15). Ask God to help you identify deceit. Ask God to show you who the wolves are, and to remove them from your life, in Jesus’ name. God is your refuge and shelter; He is your greatest source of protection.

No matter what it looks like, what lies are being told, who has turned against you; look for the silver lining: NOTHING is more powerful than the power and authority of JESUS CHRIST in your life! God knows your worth; His Truth is all that matters! If you have a relationship with Jesus, then GOD HIMSELF has your back! Trust Him each and every day! Pursue Jesus, and the scales will fall from your eyes, as the real world of truth appears before you in ways you’ve never imagined! You will be amazed at what you can see through your brand new spiritual eyes! It’s about love and forgiveness. It really is…all about…pursuing JESUS!

” ‘I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. ‘So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock–his church, purchased with his own blood–over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you–my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you. ‘And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.’ ”
( Acts 20:26-32 New Living Translation)

You can read more about how to identify wolves in sheep’s clothing in my article: Sheepish Character? False Christians cause Division (Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing).

My mission is to help others find hope leading to healing, joy, and freedom in the truth of Jesus Christ. On The Silver Lining homepage, you can click on specific topics related to this blog post, such as: narcissism, judging, deception, freedom, and more. You can also search your own keywords; examples are: “self-centeredness” “wolves” “jealousy” “character” “fruit” “light” and many others. Join The Silver Lining Facebook page, and share the silver lining experiences God has given to you, by submitting them to be shared with other readers! God bless you, in Jesus name! 

Sheepish Character? False Christians Cause Division! (Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing)

Taking an honest look into the character of the people around us, is one way to find out which people are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing.  It’s not that difficult, but it means we need to open our eyes to what the bible has to say about character, and then be willing to accept the truth, when we see the red flags.   Many people don’t want to face the fact that someone they know, and love, could be a wolf, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.  False Christians will cause division in your home, church, circle of friends, and communities.  

What is a false or fake Christian?  In the New Testament, the apostle Paul warns,  “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceived the minds of naive people” (Romans 16:17-18 New International Version).  They are not serving God, but they pretend that they do.

Have you ever had a positive relationship with someone, that was mainly a pleasant encounter for both of you? There was no animosity or hard feelings between the two of you; things were just fine?  Suddenly, out of the blue, that person started to avoid you.  If she called now and then to say hello, it stopped.  Comments on social media ended.  Your emails and text messages were ignored.  You knew that this friend or acquaintance was no longer just busy. Then something clicked.  You realized that your friend recently spent time with someone who has something against you; a gossip.  The gossip will not admit it, but she considers you to be an enemy, and she has once again slandered your name.  You’re well aware of it, because it’s a continuous, vicious cycle.  “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28).

By paying attention to the scriptures, we can protect ourselves from getting involved with a wolf in sheep’s clothing. These false Christians may speak like Christians, act like Christians, and appear to be walking like Christians.  But something is always off.  They are bitter and angry.  They are not growing.  They are not walking with The Lord.  For a variety of reasons, they are faking it.  You can visibly witness a true Christian’s walk with Jesus.  You will see him grow, and change over time. Christians actually lose their desire to sin, and they allow the Holy Spirit to open their hearts, guide them, and mold them into people who become more like Jesus.  Jesus doesn’t gossip and gather people to hate others.  He gathers them to spread love.

God acknowledges, in the bible, that there are people close to us, in our own churches, friendship circles, and families, who are fake Christians.  Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of his own disciples. “Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).  The wolf, is an excellent actor, one with plenty of practice building a life around manipulation and lies. Some wolves hope to win you with self-pity.  They make it seem as if the world is against them.  They may visit your church, corner you when you’re alone, and tell you a sob story to make you feel sorry for them.  Some seek to use and con you for easy money, playing both you, and the system at the same time.  Some use flattery to try and win you over.  “Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet” (Proverbs 29:5).  

Other wolves will gossip, slander, and stab people in the back.  They hope to build an army of people who will hate the same people they hate.  They work to isolate the victims of their lies, so no one will talk to each other and find out the truth.  They don’t want to be alone in their sin, because then they would have to face the truth about themselves. If they are able to deceive us when we are already in the word of God, imagine the havoc they can create for those who are not reading the bible on a continuous basis.  God hates this kind of behavior, and He promises to take care of it; “Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate” (Psalm 101:5).  The bible is the tool that helps us to see through the manipulation and lies!

A wolf uses guilt in a cunning way.  She may try to make you feel bad for not spending more time with her, for not returning a phone call, or for spending time with other friends, especially if she has gossiped to those people about you.  Some wolves in sheep’s clothing are so good at getting their way, they will even manipulate you into doing their dirty work!   “Oh, I would never do that,” we might say. But if you’ve ever spoken on behalf of someone else, and jumped in on a whim to try and “help” them solve a problem that does not concern you, you’ve enabled the wolf to continue in sin. Who wants to help a wolf, and risk getting ripped to pieces?

“We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive.  They are not busy; they are busybodies” ( 2 Thessalonians 3:11). Haven’t we all at one time, found ourselves ignoring someone else, because of a rumor we heard about that person?  We felt so sorry for the wolf, we may have actually missed out on the truth of who was really being mistreated.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are no longer talking to a friend or relative with whom you previously enjoyed a relationship, because of some gossip you heard, consider that to be a red flag. Maybe letting go of the friend was subtle, such as dropping her from your party invitation list, or not stopping to have a quick chat in the grocery store when you normally would have.  Are we willing to give up friendships based on another’s perception, or will we be paying close attention to the character of the gossip and not fall prey to devious schemes?

A manipulating wolf will tell bold-faced lies, creatively weaving them with the truth, to make them sound more believable. Manipulators tend to blame and project their problems and issues onto an innocent scapegoat, in an effort to keep people from seeing the truth.  Being aware of these tactics enables us to remove our blindfolds, so that we can avoid being deceived by those trying to hide their own sin. After all, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17 English Standard Version).  When we hear things about others that don’t line up with their good character, we should question the character of the gossip.  We should ask God why we are in the situation as a listener.  Were we cornered or tricked?  Are we being persuaded to get involved? Are we strong enough to rebuke the wolf and say we won’t be part of it?

In grade school, we learn about the common denominator.  A wolf in sheep’s clothing causes strife everywhere he goes.  Strife is the opposite of peace.  Have you ever spent time with someone, in varied environments, situations, and company, and later realized that every time you’re with this someone, you just don’t feel good after your time together?  Maybe afterwards, you feel anxious, guilty, angry, or depressed?  This person is the common denominator!  A wolf stirs up stress, problems, and drama.  He brings out the worst in everyone: jealousy, envy, hate, self-righteousness, pride, and more.  Isn’t it interesting that every time the wolf leaves your home, you end up feeling …down?  That’s because evil spirits at work have been having a field day.  “An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper” (Proverbs 28:25 New American Standard Bible).

A wolf in sheep’s clothing will be extra eager to tear apart a Christian brother or sister. Godly people do not do this. They seek to establish boundaries, take time to heal and forgive others, and allow others to do the same.  They seek restoration of relationships, yet they also know which relationships are harmful, and which ones need to be cut off, whether for short term or long term.  The opposite of a wolf, is a true Christian walking with God.  A true Christian seeks to lift up others and encourage them.  You can look at the character of a true Christian, when deciding who you should believe and trust.  If you’re in a difficult situation, and think you may be dealing with a wolf in sheep’s clothing, look at the character of the people involved.  “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging, and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV).  You should feel good about yourself after spending time with a Christian who is walking with God.  Love should emanate from then, and your heart should feel joyful.  You should have a sense of peace after you have spent time together.

It can be difficult sometimes, when we are battling the truth, but if we spend time praying, reading our bibles, and talking to God, He will teach us who we can trust.  Pray against deceit.  Ask God for wisdom, and He will “pull the wool from your eyes”. We may be saved by grace, but are we walking the Christian walk?  Let’s follow Jesus, the great shepherd, rather than blindly going along with what the rest of the flock believe.  Don’t let a wolf steal you away.  Let the Lord be your shepherd.

What to do…

… if you’re a wolf:

Ask God to forgive you for being deceitful. Come clean, and ask forgiveness of those you have lied to and lied about.  Seek out a Christian counselor who can help you identify your sinful patterns and help you onto a path of healing.

… if you’re an enabler

Ask God to forgive you for being an enabler.  Ask God to give you the courage to say no to people who gossip. Ask Him to show you how to create healthy boundaries.  Ask forgiveness of anyone you have hurt with your enabling.  Seek Christian counseling, if you feel you may be getting involved with others’ problems to make up for past pain that needs healing.

 

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© 2014 Photography – Jacob Pelleman
“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.  As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.  The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the innermost parts of the body” (Prov. 26:20-22).

Read more about this topic in Pursue the Shepherd to Escape the Wolves, and by clicking on the topic narcissism at The Silver Lining homepage.