READ: Psalm 32, Isaiah 55-57, Matthew 4, Acts 11
There is something winsome about the person who has no guile. We are impressed by the intelligent, awed by the strong, drawn to the attractive, amused by the witty, but it is the man or woman without guile that makes us feel safe. Psalm 32:2 reminds us that the person in whose spirit is no deceit is blessed. This blessing comes primarily from being accepted by God and trusted by man. God loves the guileless for they make no attempt to deceive Him. The intelligent and strong of the world ironically use their gifts to try and cover their weaknesses–which before omnipotent God makes them look ridiculous. Persons without guile make no attempt to cover weakness, motives, sin, or struggles and in that (sometimes raw) honesty make themselves endearing to God and man. There is a humility about the guileless that God loves: “For thus says the High and Lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite ones’” (Isaiah 57:15).
There is a vast difference between hidden sin and covered sin. Hidden sin is the specialty of the religiously dexterous. Hidden sin is unconfessed and the ongoing carrying of it drains the life out of us (Psalm 32:4). Covered sin is confessed sin and because it is confessed and repented of, God carries and covers it allowing the confessor to walk in liberty. The guileless tend to be quick to repent, quick to bring their sins into the light. The guileless are not less sinful than the hypocritical (there is no second rate sinner, we all share the title of Chief); they are just more forthright about their failings. When we share our victories, we introduce a spirit of competition. When we share our failures, we introduce a spirit of compassion.
The longer we walk in the light, the more important it is that we have no guile–and the harder it is to be guileless. We love the new believer for often they are so transparent about their sin, and the candor refreshes us. Beware the accumulated years in the faith for they tend to add layers of guile to the soul. Jesus is so pleased with the long-term guile-free. Both guile and transparency are learned behaviors. Let us determine to be contrite, lowly, and guileless increasingly. Free from all sin, free from all pretense, what a glorious way to live and die.