The Partial- Truth Business

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Have you ever fallen into a trap of sin and wondered how it happened?

In Genesis 3, Satan tempted Eve by saying “Did God really say ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'” Of course, Satan knew the correct answer.  But, he was seeking to engage Eve in conversation. Once he could get the conversation started, he could then use all types of trickery to try to deceive her. He began the conversation with a half-truth. (And the end result was disastrous for all of humanity for ever after!)

In Luke 4, Satan tempted Jesus. Just the chapter before we read what must have been a spiritual high for Jesus: He had been baptized.  He also had witnessed a public confirmation of who He was: the Son of God. In the time frame of Satan’s tempting, Jesus was physically drained from spending forty days and nights in the wilderness. He was hungry and tired. (Remember, Satan watches us and patiently waits for a weaker moment.  When we are weakest he tries to spring a trap! And sometimes, those physical lows do follow spiritual highs!)

In Genesis 16 we read Sarai decided to give Abram her maidservant for  a wife.  She accurately says ‘God has kept me from having children.’ Whether Satan planted the seed for that thought, or gladly helped the guilt grow, we do know Sarai was certain she had the solution. Unfortunately, her solution sparked sparring between two peoples until this very day.  

Sarai was correct in that the Lord had kept her from having children.  But if she assumed that automatically equalled no children in the future, she was dreadfully wrong.  

In all three examples Satan fed off the lines of partial truth.  With a partial truth an all-out refute would be wrong,  because there exists a bit of truth, (maybe just a mere ounce!), but the truth is there, woven into the lie.

There is another weapon used in these three examples: pride.  Satan likes to appeal to the human sense of pride.

He taunted Eve, asking in the undertones, ‘are you not worthy of anything in the garden?’ Of course, Eve, then engaged in conversation to set the snake straight.

Snake indeed!  Satan utilized those precious moments to confuse Eve, and to appeal to her sense of pride.  Unfortunately for her, and all of humanity, she took the bait.

When Satan tempted Jesus he waited until He was weakened physically, and then appealed to his sense of pride.  Luke 4:3 “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus set the great example of how to deal with Satan:  know Scripture and quote it at him, sending him quivering and quaking away, questioning what went wrong.

What can we learn from Eve, Jesus and Sarai?

1) Don’t let Satan engage you in conversation.  You do not want to argue with Him.  You do have Truth on your side, but a human arguing with a spirit can be a dangerous game to play.

2) Watch your pride barometer. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18  You can be certain Satan is watching your pride barometer, waiting for it to rise.

3) Know Scripture!  For this, you must be a frequent flier in the word of God!

4) When half-truths or outright lies are served to you, reject them with quotes from Scripture.


1) Identify any half-truths you have believed, or are entertaining today.

2) Identify how to distinguish those “truths” from the Truth.

3) Identify corresponding Scripture to solidify your resolve.

4) Identify what issues or circumstances fire-up your pride.

5) Identify three ways to keep yourself humble.  Implement!

Thank you so much for reading and for your comments!  If you have trouble remembering to check in weekly, you can check the box in the right column for an automated email when I post. Please return by Monday,  July 22, for the next post.

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