The Devil’s Inoculation

by Dee Bowman

I was watching a ball game the other night. Between innings, a commercial came on in which a man was asked by his wife, “Do I look fat in this dress?” He replied, “Yes, you do.” The answer had a catastrophic effect. She bawled — and I don’t men she cried — she bawled, everywhere they went. Then they reversed the idea, having him answer when she asked if she looked fat in the dress, ‘Honey, you look fantastic.”

The “wise” conclusion he reached contained a fine line that graphically depicts how far we have descended in our moral judgments. The tag line on the commercial said, and I quote it verbatim, “A man knows peace is more important than the truth.”

How sad. How utterly sad!

The world sneaks up on you. It never invites you into the slime pits of sin, it merely gives you little shots of carnality so that you are soon inoculated against spiritual things and give little notice to them. And it all happens almost without your knowing it. It would be interesting to know just how many people were actually horrified by the tagline on that commercial. Far too few, I suspect.

And I know what you’re thinking — “It can’t happen to me. I won’t be influenced by such thinking.” That’s another tool of the devil. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12). He knows how to make slight deviations from the truth attractive, or in this case, so unnoticeable that after a time you come to tolerate them almost without thinking, he builds up a kind of carnal immunity.

Television and the internet are wonderful when they are used with discretion. But when they become the main entity in our lives, they can have a devastating effect. We need some moderation, people. How long since you actually turned the television off because you were turned off by the television? We can’t afford to let these media conveniences dominate our thinking, we are apt to be led away — almost without knowing it.

Truth is not elastic. You can’t just move it around to fit whatever you want it to fit. You have to manage your thinking in strict adherence to what is right and make your decisions accordingly.

Buy the truth and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23). There is no simpler way to put it. Truth has high value. It’s worth the keeping. In fact, without it, there can be no real peace. The peace that really matters comes from using truth to make wise choices, no matter how difficult, not choosing as the commercial says, “peace is more important than truth.” That is not so!

Paul speaks of the devil’s deceit, bound in “and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness” (II Thessalonians 2:10-12).

That, my friends, is an apt description of the television commercial we just described. And do you know what’s really sad? It works. Far too often, it works.

Sadly, there are dozens of other commercials like the one we just described. And our fragmented thinking, produced by our taking in only little sketches of worldliness and carnality at a time, can cause us to eventually find the truth to be little more than a mere suggestion, certainly not any sort of restriction.

What bothers me most is how this kind of “smallism thinking’ is affecting our young people. If we are not careful, we will allow them to believe that what they see on television and what they see on Facebook, and what they text (sometimes without the least bit of moral restraint) is normal, just the way life is and that we needn’t worry about it. And it may be the way life is today — but we don’t have to let them be vaccinated with small shots of it so they can either ignore it or just look the other way.

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