8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
With so many voices screaming at us from all directions, it is difficult to identify those who would lead us astray. I love social media and the ease of getting information, communicating with friends and relatives – especially the grandchildren – but it is not always easy to distinguish accurate information from reliable sources and information which is both inaccurate and potentially harmful.
It seems that if a statement is repeated often enough, it is taken as truth. Scripture gives us a barometer to help us know truth. This first letter of John is one of my favorite books in the New Testament and you will be hearing a lot about it in the next few days. It is important to know that the devil is very active in our world. He will never give up trying to win us over to his side. What we can often forget is how devious he can be. How can we recognize those whom we should follow and those whom can lead us astray?
I believe in the old adage, “By their fruits, you shall know them.” John tells us that the one who acts righteously is righteous. This is the one we should listen to. Honesty, fidelity, compassion, kindness, modesty are signs that this person is following in the footsteps of Christ. These are attributes we should be developing in ourselves, and should be watching for in others.
Let us be those who work with the Lord to defeat the devil both in our own lives and in the example we give to others.
Lord, you have shown us the path of life. Help us to recognize those who would lead us astray, and give us the courage to follow the way of righteousness and truth. Amen.