“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2nd Corinthians 11:3
The simplicity that Paul speaks of here is not the simplicity of thought, but rather the simplicity of choice. You see, when Jesus says that we must “receive the Kingdom of God like a little child,” he’s not saying that we have to become childlike in our thought process. For one thing, children don’t have simple thoughts or questions. “Who made God?” “What happens to your lap when you stand up?” “How long is forever?” are the questions found in a child’s mind, and these are questions that the greatest theologians, philosophers, scientists and thinkers have considered for millennia.
So, even though children are not simple in their thoughts, they are simple in their choices. To a child, choices are not filled with varying shades of grey. There are only two choices – right or wrong, good or bad, black or white. So, what Paul is saying is that in our moral world, the result of man’s deception by the serpent has caused him to lose that simplicity.
How did the serpent deceive Eve? By causing her to consider such a clear issue in an unclear way. That’s always the way it is with sin. Sin would never succeed if it didn’t first find a way to muddy the question. Who would even hesitate when given the choice between God or the devil if it were presented in such a simple manner? The truth is that such simple alternatives are never set before him. Our fallen world is painted in shades of color. It has taken Heaven’s flowers and set them up as if they were of this world.
I never choose sin because it looks miserable, but because it looks marvelous. The hidden danger of sin is found in the fact that it is, in fact, a counterfeit. Satan in the desert looks a lot like a Christian. He even whispered to Jesus, “If you’ll just bow down and follow me then I’ll help you accomplish your mission faster.” He does the same thing in our lives. He comes to us with a range of choices in the hour of our temptation.
My prayer is that my Lord will help me to unmask the Tempter and strip away his disguises to see him for what he really is. Many times I believe that we as Christians think we are serving Jesus only to discover that we’ve been serving the enemy. We lay our sacrifices on another’s altar. We don’t intend to build a temple for Satan. We love Christ and Christ alone. Yet, I have found things in the fallen gardens of the wicked one things that were taken from my Lord’s. They even have the perfume of Eden on them.
May I once again have the child-like simplicity my Lord spoke of. May I have the child’s unyielding power of choice. “I like this,” “I don’t like that.” May I see the King in His majesty and the sinner in his deformity. I will finally be as Jesus said when like a little child I shall see it as a simple choice between the two.