As I observe those who call upon Your name
To fulfill their trivial, meaningless desires—
Those who are never satisfied,
Those who constantly demand more from You
Like craving, all consuming sponges—
I’m amazed at how little they understand
Either Your nature or Your purpose for them.
Mellifluously, they say, “Praise the Lord,”
In a voice that quivers with self-serving sanctimony.
In their calculating hearts, they do not seek You.
They seek an angle to take advantage of others—
To search out a way to obtain their desires,
To win at the expense of those who must lose,
While smiling duplicitously, deceiving the foolish.
As I watch them and listen, I remember the time
When I was young, naïve, and easily fooled—
The time when I was unable to discern their deceptions.
When I see them now, I recognize how
Devious, self-absorbed, and cunning they really are.
In their hearts, they harbor pretense and treachery,
While maintaining a cunning facade of godly humility.
When I was innocence and naïveté, I knew no better.
Trustingly, I believed they had been sent by You
And had my best interests at heart.
As I reflect upon their actions decades later,
Having weathered their malice and survived,
I see the fruitlessness of their scheming.
Now, when I look for them, they cannot be found.
While I smile at the future, regardless of what it might hold,
I have learned that coming to You in complete honesty
Is the only path to a life of lasting fulfillment.
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; hold to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. (II Timothy 3:2-5)