We like to think, “Oh she’s just so complicated,” or “I have a hard time understanding him.” We think we humans are so complicated. I am seeing more and more every day that we simply aren’t as complex as we would like to believe.

When you talk to people in black and white terms, for the most part, they will say, “Things in the real world aren’t that simple.” It’s as if we need some vast amount of information to understand where someone is coming from. I’ll admit there are a multitude of small details in each person’s life that make us who we are and shape our personalities. What I am getting at is; we are in or out, on or off, up or down, light or dark. We may be confused about plenty of things, but at the root of it all we are not in the middle on very much.

Jesus told us “you are either with me or against me.” He said “you either gather with me or scatter” there truly is no kingdom of the middle ground. When it comes right down to it we are either in the Kingdom of God or we are not.

When Tracey and I went to our annual training at the Prison for volunteer chaplains they had us watch a 30 minute video. It was an inmate talking about how he and many others manipulate guards and volunteers in order to obtain things from the outside world. It isn’t a surprise to any of us that these men and women will do just about anything to get cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or sex, because inside it is forbidden. Whenever we are told we can’t do something what do we do? We want it now even more. Kind of reminds me of a couple I read about in a Garden long ago.

For the most part the man on the video was explaining how inmates manipulate people. He said any personal information they can get from you gives them power. If they find out you are in need of money they can use you to get what they want, and they’ll cut you in on some of the proceeds. Once they get you to break one rule they pretty much have you over a barrel. They have nothing to lose, but you stand to lose everything.

While watching this guy talk about all of his schemes all I could see was a Satanic, worldly mindset seeking to get any and everything it could to satisfy its hunger no matter what the cost. Sometimes I think we Christians become naive to what the world is doing, and capable of doing, while living our nice protected lifestyles. It was truly a wake up call to how crafty the enemy really is. He will lure us in with the most nonchalant, mundane bait you could imagine.

This guy said he looks for small things about a person to let him know if he can play them. He said if you are depressed he would ask what’s wrong. If you respond with something like “I’m having problems with my kids” he said he’s got you. You have just let him into your personal life and he, can and, will use that as ammo against you later. If you come to work with clothes on that don’t look clean he will use that. He says “that probably means you don’t have money to take care of your business properly.” If you are in need of money then he will draw you in to a deal with him to make some extra cash. These guys are pretty smart if they would just use it for something good or productive.

Ultimately what this all boiled down to with me was; if we are living in the manner prescribed by the scriptures it takes away some of their ammo. The saying is “the borrower is slave to the lender.” If we lived our lives free from the love of money and as debt free as possible then we wouldn’t be set up for illegal business dealings. If we live our lives as openly, and in the light, as possible then the enemy wouldn’t have anything on us to manipulate us. I know I know you’re saying well things just aren’t that simple Louie. I understand things happen and we end up in a place financially or otherwise that we didn’t intend to, but I’m saying as far as it depends on us we live scriptural.

When it is all said and done it still comes down to this basic test. Is what they are doing coming from a self for self or a self for others source? If we are filled with the Spirit of God then our motives and actions will be for others. If we are filled with the spirit of the enemy then our motives and actions will be self for self. So when it comes right down to it, it’s not that complicated.

Written by Louie


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