Caveat Emptor

The Frustration of Deception

There are few things in life as frustrating as being deceived. Whether it was being sold a defective product, trusting in someone that betrayed that trust, or receiving bad advice or information; in the end we commonly feel used and foolish. While angry with the one or ones who wronged us, we can be most angry with ourselves for being so gullible.

An Old Concept

The outcome of deception can be harmful as well. With products one might be stuck with a “lemon” they are unable to return or use. With various schemes or swindles people can lose money, property, and even their respect in the community. It is for this reason that the centuries old concept of Caveat Emptor came into being: “Let the buyer beware.”

While this principle holds as a wise precept for engaging in any form of commerce, taking care with any information to avoid deception is also wise. This is especially true of the most important form of information: the Bible. The warning to “not be deceived” (Gal. 6:7; James 1:16, et al.) is prevalent throughout the Bible because such deception is very real. Christians are warned to test “every spirit” to see if they are genuine (1 John 4:1), to “examine everything” carefully (1 Thes. 5:21), and speaking positively of those who examine the Scriptures as the source of truth (Acts 17:13).

Deception is Not an Excuse

This is of the greatest importance because, when all is said and done, it is not the deceiver who will pay the penalty for your deception, but instead yourself. This is not to say that those who deceive will not be punished, but instead to remind us all that we cannot blame another for allowing ourselves to be deceived. A powerful example that demonstrates this problem is Adam and Eve. Eve attempted to blame the serpent for her deception (Gen. 3:13) and Adam attempted to blame God for giving him Eve and allowing her to bring him down (Gen 3:12). Neither excuse was valid in removing their responsibility.

The sad reality is that so many people are “consumers” of spiritual information, and much of it is not even based upon the Bible, and when it is not complete. So many people willingly allow themselves to be deceived by lies told by men when they can know the truth in the written Word. It is time that more people learn to have a Caveat Emptor philosophy toward “religious” words. The cost of being deceived is much too high.

comments powered by Disqus