TITLE: Fool Me Once
DATE: November 16, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: 2 Timothy 3: 1-6 – ESV - But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions
My daddy had an expression which he frequently used. It went something like this: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
The point the expression is trying to make is this: There are times when I can be fooled, conned, bamboozled and tricked by someone. If they set out to take advantage of me, and they succeeded, the guilt for the misdeed rests on them. But suppose the same person who has taken advantage of me once tries to do the same kind of thing a second time... what then? Well, if they succeed, then, at least in part, the blame is on me.
My father was not the only person who believed in that old adage. Georgia’s Butts County Sheriff Gary Long also believes it. Which is why, last year on Halloween, he put warning signs in the yards of convicted sex-offenders. He was going to do it again this year, but those fellows objected... said it was embarrassing.... and they took the sheriff to court.
Well, the long and short of it was those fellows won their case. U.S. District Court Judge Marc Treadwell said:
The Judge felt it did violate the rights of those men and the Sheriff was going a step too far with his Halloween warnings to the public. These are tough times which call for tough decisions.
If you look at the passage above, you will see Saint Paul had a pretty good idea of what the future would hold... and he did his best to warn young Timothy. He knew there would be tough times and tough decisions would need to be made.
Consider especially the last line: “6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions.” That is part of the “times of difficulty” St. Paul was talking about in the passage.
It was his intent, like Sheriff Long, to put up signs so God’s people might be warned. In so doing Paul hoped to:
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord it seems that there are those who wish to corrupt and destroy anything which is good. Help us avoid them and follow the Lord Jesus Who gave His life so we might have life. In His Name. Amen.
The devotion for today was inspired by various recent news articles. For further reading you may wish to go to this address: https://www.newser.com/story/282409/judge-to-sheriff-you-cant-put-signs-in-sex-offenders-yards.html and the article written by Jenn Gidman .
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html