DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Does the devil ever tell the truth? I guess that’s a strange question, but I got into something I was convinced would make me happy, and I was wrong. The only thing I can figure out is that the devil must have told me I’d be happy, and I believed him. — S.F.
DEAR S.F.: If the devil were responsible for convincing you that you’d be happy doing these things, was he telling the truth? No, certainly not. Jesus warned, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
Even when the devil appears to be telling the truth, he isn’t, because his only goal is to turn us against God and trap us into doing his will instead of God’s will. Do you remember the temptations that came to Jesus? (Matthew 4:1-11) Every one of them sounded reasonable and very tempting, but their sole purpose was to turn Jesus away from God’s plan for his life.
Does this mean Satan’s advice (however it comes to us) is always obviously bad or clearly evil? No, not necessarily. Sometimes he uses half-truths to deceive us; he may even promise us wonderful things. But such promises are never true. The Bible warns that at times “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Make it your goal to listen to God and seek his will in everything. Satan hates you, but God loves you, and his Son died on the cross to save you. Make the Bible, which is God’s Word, part of your life every day, asking God to use it to teach you his truth and help you do what’s right. And when you face decisions, always ask God to guide you.
© Tribune Media Services 6/19