Reconnoitre


Similarly before any serious action in a tight situation we should examine carefully all the positive and negative elements and take into account all the possible repercussions. Hasty action can lead us only into regrets and put us into a position where corrective measures become almost difficult or almost impossible. This is why they say: "Look well before you leap." This, of course, does not mean that we are nonplussed, inactive and nervously avoid any action. This would be resigning our responsibility. As human beings we have to take decisions but all these decisions should have a proper discernment.

    We are told that the evil spirit also tries to find out our weak point and attacks us accordingly. If someone is stubborn, it makes that person to be stubborn enough not to see the truth or be far too proud to refuse to accept mistakes. We all do make mistakes and correct ourselves. "To err is after all human and to forgive is divine" is a common enough saying. If the evil one finds someone is a slave to money he would tempt him to acquire it in whatever way he likes without paying attention to morality. If on the other hand he finds some one lustful he will try to tell him or her that the wrong he is suggesting is quite all right as for as he is concerned. For all these things the evil one need not have to appear in a visible fashion. He can act through others and even as innocent suggestion which seems to follow out of genuine concern for our good. A good example could be what we read in the Gospel of Mathew chapter 16 where Peter makes his profession of Faith and Jesus praises him. Taken up by that, Peter now is bold to protest against Jesus when he says he is soon going to die after suffering cruelly. He tries to dissuade him from his cross and Jesus had to tell him harshly "Get behind (go away) me Satan". His suggestion was not from God as had been his previous profession of Faith: You are the Son of the living God".   

So we need to be circumspect in our lives. We could be misled by the evil spirits. Could we be misled by those who live with us? Why should they mislead us? Is it out of envy, is it out of a sense of revenge for a wrong done or at least imagined? We cannot be sure. But in all these situations it is best to use God-given prudence. Jesus also recommends that his disciples be simple as doves and prudent as serpents. We should train our selves to turn to God in simple prayer and to take into consideration all circumstances and situations before arriving at a decision. Then there is less likelihood of making a mistake.

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