“Candid” Synonym for Truthful?

candid

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.

James 4:7
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!

 

Candid

An Agile Spirit

agile

On the Orpolo firing range, in the southern region of Georgia (the country), on September 3, 2017, fifteen-hundred military servicemen participated in a multinational exercise involving offensive and defensive maneuvers.  The goal of the exercise was to increase “interoperability” between Georgian troops and other partner states (the United States, Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine and Azerbaijan), and improve “combat capabilities of the NATO Response Force” according to XINHUSNET. The military drill was perhaps aptly named, “Agile Spirit 2017.”

Military readiness training is essential to protecting the interests of the United States, both domestically and abroad.  It requires participating in these exercises on a regularly scheduled basis, with our allies across the world.

In this same way, SPIRITUAL readiness training is essential to every true Christ follower in order to be able, capable, and agile in response to the attacks which come from the spiritual forces of darkness.  As children of the light (John 12:36) we are encouraged by the apostle Paul to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11

The apostle goes on to instruct (from a military perspective) the importance and description of each piece of this armor… belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes-gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Each one of these articles intended for offensive or defensive purposes, is critical to implement in our walk of faith.  Without any single one of the articles, our life as a Christ follower is laid bare and open to attack.  If any of these areas is weak, or poorly instructed, or not exercised effectively, we are laid bare and open to attack.  Continual training in all these areas renders us “agile in Spirit” and then capable of surviving the struggle which comes at us hard, and fast, and when we least expect it.

None of this even makes any sense unless we understand who our enemy really is.  God doesn’t want us to be naive in this world, or uniformed about our reality, or vulnerability.  So God impresses on Paul to instruct us: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

You might notice, that in essence there is really only one offensive weapon, listed last among all these spiritual defense elements:  The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Belts, breastplates, shoes, shields, helmets… none of these are weapons, they are protection against attack.  Perhaps that is why when tempted by Satan, Jesus Himself never relied on anything other than God’s own Holy Word, to engage the battle.  He said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4  The word of God, the sword of the Spirit, is what gives our faith the agile ability to resist the attacks of Satan.

James said it this way, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Here’s the thing.  If we don’t know what God’s word says, we are vulnerable daily, to the attacks of Satan. We may be wearing the armor: belts, breastplates, shoes, shields, helmets… but all we can really do is be sitting ducks for the attack that will surely come.  To be agile in Spirit, and capable of engaging this spiritual struggle, demands we regularly and consistently engage in the spiritual exercise of training… in the Sword of the Spirt, the truth of the word of God.

In the now famous words of Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise…

Engage.

 

 

Agile