Evil Intent Exposed
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?" Matthew 22:17-18
Beware of those with evil intent. Their motivation is to make others look bad so they can look good. Unscrupulous individuals seek to weaken another’s authority so they can step into the power vacuum and take control. They use flattery to gain favor from their victim. They acquire trust so they can discredit their opponent’s character. A heart with evil intent uses truth to set a trap of confusion. Thus, wisdom and discernment are required to confront confusion with clarity.
Has another attempted to question your character? Have you answered their clever questions directly with insight from Scripture? Pray the Holy Spirit reveals the heart of God to your heart, so you righteously respond to unrighteous inquiries. Questions with evil intent are fishing for an evil reaction. But in the power of the Holy Spirit you don’t have to lower yourself to acting like your agitators. Be bold, but respectful. Be direct, but with grace and truth.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
Furthermore, pray for those in authority who use others to do their dirty work. They indirectly infuse their influence through their subordinates who wish to avoid insubordination. Thus, we don’t shoot the messenger, but by God’s grace we grow in our compassion and empathy for their no win situation. Perhaps they are a puppet of their boss’ pride. They fear losing his or her approval or they don’t want to jeopardize their promotion, so they give in to being used. So, be like Joseph and his jailer, seek God’s favor and serve. You may gain more influence for Christ.
Finally, guard your heart if you feel betrayed, attacked, dismissed or marginalized. Let go of hurt and be healed. Release anger and forgive. Lovingly confront critics with grace and truth. When you feel wronged, pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the right words with the right spirit. The battle is the Lord’s, so you can trust Him to deal with evil intent in His timing. Yes, trust in the Lord with all your heart, so your heart is free from fear and retaliation. He exposes evil intent.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 1 Peter 3:12
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me Your heart to lovingly confront another’s evil intent with grace and truth.
Related Readings: 1 Samuel 12:19; Psalm 141:5; John 17:15; 2 Thessaloinians 3:2
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