Three Back at Me

As seen in the HEARTbeat and Village Voice

“Three Back at Me”


            I’ve been amazed at the abilities of illusionists.  We all know they can’t make things disappear without a trace or appear out of thin air.  It just can’t be done.  We all know it in our heads, but are still in awe when we watch them do their tricks.  How do they do it???  Here’s a little secret:  They get you to look at something else while they are executing their “sleight of hand” maneuvers.

            Lately we’ve seen a lot of sleight of hand going on.  It’s a strategy used to get people to redirect their attention elsewhere.  Usually this is done to keep their own behaviors concealed or unnoticed.  The more egregious the allegation, the more we look at the alleged violator and believe the allegations to be true.

            This type of action has been used in the past, especially in war.  The tactic is called a “feint maneuver,” and was used brilliantly during the invasion of Normandy.  The allies built a fake army in the southeast of England called the First US Army Group, stationed some soldiers there, and even build dummy ships and landing craft that from the air looked real.  The Germans intercepted some carefully leaked radio traffic and were convinced the invasion would occur at Pas-de-Calais, the narrowest point on the English Channel.  The ruse was so good, even after the invasion started, German high command still believed the Normandy invasion was the ruse and the real invasion was still going to occur at Pas-de-Calais, and kept a huge amount of defense forces there, until it was too late.

            Jesus taught on many of life’s issues during His Sermon on the Mount.  He taught about anger, divorce, vows, loving your enemies, revenge, worry, and judging others, just to name a few.  Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”  And He continued, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? …..You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

            We speak first about others’ faults without examining our own.  Or even worse, we speak loudly about others’ faults in an effort to hide our own.  In either case we are guilty of judging others.  If we fall into the trap of listening to someone sling allegations about another, we will inadvertently be judging someone’s action based solely on the words or “sleight of words” from an accuser.  Don’t judge unless you desire to be judged.  That’s not my words, that’s the words of Jesus Himself.

            My grandfather told me once, “Don’t point a finger at someone, blaming them for something.  When you do, you’ll have three pointing back at yourself.”  I didn’t realize the implications of his words until I made a pointing gesture with my hand and discovered three of my own fingers pointed back at me.

            So, the next time we hear someone pointing out the faults of another just follow the greatest number of fingers on their hand to see the beginnings of the truth!

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Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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