Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Eph. 5:17)

THE FACTS WERE SHOCKING, but the situation was, sadly, not unique. A pastor who had achieved some prominence because of his unusual conversion and the miracles that accompanied it had proven to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Both men and women had been deceived: the women sexually shamed, and a professional man’s career tainted by the unscrupulous cleric.

What was remarkable about this case, however, was that the victims blogged their confessions of foolishness, and together exposed the wolf’s methods to others. The blogs were written by the victims only after a time of deep regret, repentance, and assurance of divine forgiveness for their lack of wisdom and discernment.

Jesus said God’s children are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. How can we acquire a defense against the wiles of Satan and his religious counterfeits? The victims of the story confirm that had they compared Scripture teachings with the behavior and claims of the pastor. Had they heeded the warning signs, they could have avoided the personal catastrophes they experienced.

God’s Word, prayer for discernment, and attentive wisdom are sure protection against wolves who will prey on unwary victims. That is why we are instructed to be ever-growing in the knowledge and truth of Jesus Christ and to reject any insidious influences that do not reflect the example or will of our Lord.

Guard your heart by memorizing Bible teachings on foolishness and wisdom.

Carol Chase and her husband spent many years circumnavigating the world by sailboat. She is retired and currently coordinates an e-mail prayer group from home.