I’m honored to have fellow historical romance author, Kathleen Denly as guest today with some insights from her new release. Be sure to enter the Giveaway at the end of the post!


Doing the Wrong Thing for the Right Reasons

by Kathleen Denly

In my novel, Harmony on the Horizon, one of my main characters, Fletcher Johnson has four occupations. His first and most well-known occupation is that of a card dealer at a gambling house in San Francisco’s Barbary Coast. This is the job that pays most of his bills. Aside from this, Fletcher also picks up occasional labor work at the docks which helps to fill in the gaps when he has a bad night at the tables or wants to send extra money to his sister at her boarding school. His two other occupations bring in no money at all and place his life in danger, but they are where his heart lies.

Fletcher is outraged and heartbroken by the crime pervading the Barbary Coast, as well as the corruption dominating San Francisco’s government. Determined not to stand idly by, Fletcher uses his unique set of skills in an attempt to affect change within the city. The ways in which he uses them, however, involve deception and are not entirely legal.

Fletcher’s friend Katie is someone he would like to help, but she refuses to accept his help because it involves deceit. She believes that deceit goes against God’s instructions no matter the reasons for it. Yet even she reluctantly employs it when faced with dire circumstances (revealing an inconsistency between beliefs and actions which many of us share).

This got me thinking about other times in history when deception was used for seemingly good reasons. For example, the Underground Railroad which helped American slaves escape their masters in the nineteenth century surely involved deceit. And what of those who helped to hide Jewish and other wanted citizens from the Nazi’s during the world wars? Or what of the deception by the midwives protecting baby boys in Exodus 1 and the deception of Moses’ sister and mother regarding his true identity in Exodus 2:1-10?

Then there is the story of Rahab and the two spies in Joshua chapter 2. Joshua was the leader put in place by God at the time, but God did not explicitly tell Joshua to send these spies.  Nevertheless, the very nature of being a spy involves deception and those men implicitly encouraged Rahab to deceive the king of Jericho into believing the spies had left the city and that she’d not known their importance anyway. Later, she was rewarded for this deception and is often touted as a hero of the Bible for these protective, yet also deceptive actions. So what do we make of the words in James 2:25?

“And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?”

What does the Bible explicitly say about lies and deceit?  

Psalm 101:7 No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

Proverbs 20:17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.

What about the small deceptions, like being nice to people you don’t actually like?

Proverbs 26: 24-26 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly

Romans 16:18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Does it matter why someone is lying or only that they are not truthful?

Proverbs 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.

Psalm 5:6 You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Proverbs 24:28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips

Of course, there are far more verses I could quote here, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll encourage you to seek them out on your own. Then ask yourself these questions: Where is the line between right and wrong in situations when your intentions are to protect and/or rescue? Is it ever Biblically justifiable to deceive someone?

Kathleen Denly writes historical romance to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. Award winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series, she also shares history tidbits, thoughts on writing, books reviews and more at KathleenDenly.com.

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Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie & the Civil War Era

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In celebration of Kathleen’s upcoming release, Harmony on the Horizon, Book 3 in her Chaparral Hearts series, she is offering a giveaway! 

One winner* will receive: 

  • 1 Aromatherapy Pendant – with scent ball 
  • 1 Lavender Sachet 
  • 1 Handmade tag-style bookmark – complete truth quote
  • 1 ebook copy of either WITW or SITS – winner’s choice
  • 1 Chaparral Hearts Pen
  • 1 SITS Bookmark  
  • 1  HOTH Sticker

To enter, leave a comment on this blog, and sign up for Kathleen’s Readers’ Club here: http://bit.ly/KRCMemberSignUp

Deadline to enter is 11:59pm January 5, 2022. Winner will be announced in the comments for this post and contacted via email.

*Must have a U.S. Mailing address to win. Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

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