Do a Google search for “candid,” and you find this list of synonyms: “frank, outspoken, forthright, blunt, open, honest, truthful, sincere, direct, plain-spoken, straightforward, ingenuous, bluff.” Or, more informally: “unposed, informal, uncontrived, impromptu, natural.”
My first thought of the word “candid,” by word association, was a Television show, which began broadcasting in the 1940’s, with the show theme, “Smile, you may be on Candid Camera!” The sole purpose of the show was to catch people doing things they might not ordinarily do, (on a hidden camera), in response to a “setup situation.” The first episode aired on August 10, 1948, and revised episodes of the long-time, prank-oriented show have been seen on TV as recent as 2010, hosted by the creator’s son Allen Funt, and Mayim Bialik, one of the stars on The Big Bang Theory.
Sometimes I feel like my life is a series of Candid Camera episodes, with Satan himself as the producer/director in full-bore prank mode, setting me up in situations, just to see what I’ll do, or how I’ll react to some weird temptation he’s concocted to deceive me. It isn’t frank, outspoken, or forthright… the setup is usually devious, deceitful, and potentially destructive. His intrusions into my life are not truthful, sincere, or plain-spoken, they are contrived, planned, and designed to make me fail in my efforts to glorify God. The saddest part, the most humiliating part, is that all too often I fall for the setup, and end up saying something, or doing something, or acting in some way that is so not what I want to do. But there you go. In the end, I’m glad I’m not captured on some cosmic camera for replay to a national or international audience.
It causes me to ask myself, “why do you so often fall prey to these crazy schemes of the devil?” More importantly, “what can you do to not fall for these setups as often, or totally eliminate them altogether?”
The first answer is easy… because I’m a human being.
The second answer is easy too, I guess, but sounds like a cop-out… I can’t eliminate them.
It seems to me that the one primary objective of Satan, is to destroy human life, and rob God of His glory. So he sets us up for failure, and when we act stupidly (sinfully) and in this he is successful in his plan. In the Bible, the Apostle Peter, candidly warns us, then describes Satan, and his agenda:
1 Peter 5:8
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
In the Bible, Jesus describes Satan as a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44). Satan will never be candid with us, if the synonym means “truthful.” But James, the half-brother of Jesus is very candid with his insight about how to deal with these designs to entrap and destroy us.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Look at the direct, plain-spoken, straightforward instruction in these words. Only God can defeat Satan, so submitting to God’s will, is the first step in avoiding Satan’s setups.
However, if you find yourself ensnared in the “setup” Satan has designed for you, there is still wisdom in James’ words… resist. This doesn’t mean fight with the devil, you can’t win. This doesn’t mean trying somehow to control the circumstances, that you can’t control. This means very simply, when in the middle of the struggle with the one who seeks to destroy you… in submitting to God, you resist Satan’s setup. You will never win, if you fight on your own, or in your own strength.
Today, let’s be candid. The best we can ever hope to do is: submit therefore to God!