I wonder if the wolf in Jesus’ parable realized he was a wolf in disguise, or if he believed he was truly a lamb, but with a taste for mutton? Jesus warned us:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
Sadly, it’s not just false prophets who wear disguises. We seem to encounter pretenders in every walk of life. Anna Chui writes:
“The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.”
What are some practical ways we can protect ourselves from phonies?
Grandma taught us to check their teeth. You can learn a lot about a person from their smile. Wolves and sheep have very different grins! When some people smile, they smile with their whole body. Others smile, but the rest of their body, their eyes, and their hands tell a very different story.
Ms. Chui shares these observations about wolves:
- They live to take power instead of empowering others.
- A wolf will charm you first.
- They manipulate through emotions to get what they want.
- Their stories are full of holes  .
Imagine a conversation between the disguised wolf and the rest of the flock. “What kind of grass do you like?” Asking questions is a powerful wolf detector!
My little sister was a bank manager, and the government invited her to attend a symposium on detecting counterfeits. The surprising thing was, they didn’t touch a single fake bill during the whole program. Instead, they spent all their time inspecting the real thing. By the end of the three-day conference, they were so familiar with genuine currency; a fake was instantly recognized. That’s good advice for identifying Christians too.
Finally, in the very next verse, Jesus gives us the best advice: “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). Jesus warned us not to be judgmental (Matthew 7:1). But, as Marshall Keeble use to say, “I’m not a judge! I’m a fruit inspector!” Watch out, wolves! We’re no ordinary sheep.
Be a Blessing!