Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “pretext” as “a reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason.” In many ways, a pretext simply is an excuse. For whatever reason, we may not want to reveal our real goals and objectives, instead focusing on other issues that we try to make seem important.

History is filled with examples of how this strategy has been used. In 1830, the coastline of Algeria had come under French control. But, as one historian has described, they gained control as a result of a “pretext.” Their excuse? They said they wanted revenge when a Frenchman was struck with a peacock-feathered fly whisk for saying something considered to be offensive.

In 1853, Russia used its interest in the Christian sites in Jerusalem as a pretext. Their real goal was to gain control in the Balkans. The result was the Crimean War.

People throughout history have tried to hide their true motives. They have tried to get others to focus in one direction while, in reality, they’ve wanted to achieve something completely different. They’ve pretended to be honest, when, in their hearts, they were self-serving.

Every day, pretexts are used by people all around us. This is even done by Christians. Perhaps you’ve used pretexts in your own life.

Jesus reminded us that we can fool other people, but we cannot fool God. We might be able to justify our actions to ourselves, and even deceive others. But God knows our hearts and our real motives.

Today, remember that God knows your heart. You cannot fool Him. Be honest with Him, and seek to be honest and truthful in your interaction with others. Be a witness for the power of the Gospel to transform lives. Demonstrate that you are a new creature in Christ.