Gilded Sin

You may have seen a famous painting in which an artist represents Satan as an angel who can be distinquished from the unfallen angels only by a faint shadow rising out of the blackness of his heart and slowly spreading over this face.

This is the artist's way of saying that there is nothing in the world so much like a splendid angel and a splendid devil. As columnist John R. Gunn writes, "Every real thing in life has its counterfeit and so it is easy for us to be deceived and misled. The false and the true are sometimes so nearly alike that it is difficult to tell the difference."

The devil does not always go around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, more often he goes around disguised as an angel of light, seeking whom he may deceive.

The wickedness of some is vulgar. No effort is made to disguise and soften it; it immediately disgusts all right thinking people. Our great danger lies in being deceived and beguiled by guilded sin; lustful life cloaked in glamour and glorified; sensual pleasures guilded by elegance and fashion; immoral principles disguised in alluring fiction or in seductive poetry.

The spirit of God waits to teach us to distinguish between the true and the false, if we are willing to be taught. And then having been taught, we must be ready to renounce the false and accept the true; to forsake the evil and follow the good. We must be prepared to make every sacrifice that truth and goodness may require at our hands. We are not made for evil; we are made for God.