Fooling People

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” According to tradition, this statement was made on this day in 1858 by Abraham Lincoln during his debate with Stephen Douglas. However, recent research has provided significant doubts.

Some question when Lincoln might have spoken those words. Others now believe that Lincoln may not have made that statement at all. (The quote was not included in the printed text of his remarks.)

One source reported that, years after Lincoln’s speech, two people remembered him making that statement. Another historian found that this was attributed to Lincoln based on the recollection of an unnamed person.

Regardless of the source, this quote does point us to a fundamental truth. As the Bible reminds us, many people go through life trying to fool others. Some want to create false impressions or even project fake identification. Others try to create images inconsistent with the facts. Some become successful at bluffing people into believing their accounts of events. Some have forged their resumes and gotten jobs through fabricated credentials.

But the Bible reminds us that we cannot fool God for “He knows the secrets of the heart.” There is no place we can hide from Him, no secret location where we can escape His presence. As He told the prophet Jeremiah, “Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:24). We may be able to fool others for a season, but God searches hearts and examines “secret motives” (Jeremiah 17:10).

Today, seek to be clean in God’s sight. Be honest with Him, and don’t try to fool Him. He knows every secret, and everything about you.