Just as the military uses a cloud of smoke to obscure their movements, civilians, too, can put up a “smokescreen” to divert attention. It can be as blatant as teaching Evolution (to hide lack of submission to the Creator), or as obscure as… well… blaming the dog.
We’ve gotten pretty good at a few things; it’s only natural to accentuate the positive. Goodness knows there are enough times when folks get a good look at our foibles: we certainly don’t need to be like air traffic controllers directing attention to them!
I get that. But the smoke that stinks is attempting to masque those failings with stories about others. It’s a diversion, all right—more like a perversion. I know somebody who’s picked apart everyone she’s become well acquainted with: “He does this.” … “They go there.” … “This is what they think.” Categorizing is a big part of the smokescreen. This was a personal favorite of someone I used to work with. The goal was diversion, so no reason to bother gathering facts—just exhale.
People get a nice buzz off of second-hand smoke. Too bad they don’t realize it can bring a slow, agonizing death.
With all this blowing of the wind, one can’t help but wonder: what’s behind the haze? What are they hiding? I’m afraid that a side effect is that the smoke gets in their eyes. They might not even see that log that’s about to catch on fire. It’s unpleasant to watch, really. That’s why, over time, these people’s sphere of influence eventually gets whittled down to nil. (Maybe that’s the desired effect.)
Conversely, I tend to be too candid. Tra-LA!! Maybe the ticket is to be translucent: not redirecting the focus of others, but on the other “hand” I don’t need to show off every freckle. But my foibles aren’t the topic here. Look elsewhere please.
When our soldiers are in the desert, it’s a good thing their packs carry a few smoke bombs. Rock out! But that’s warfare. We civilians are supposed to be peacemakers; we shouldn’t be experts at camouflage.1 John 1:9—— If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Eph. 4:29——-Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification