I couldn’t help but include this picture with this week’s musing. It is a cat literally with two faces. This particular 12 year old cat is named Frank ‘n Louie. He hails from Worchester, Mass. He does have a few quirks. “Everything works in unison, so when this side eats, this side sometimes goes up and down. He sees out of the two outside eyes, the middle eye is not functional, but it doesn’t bother him at all.” (Boston.cbslocal.com)
Recently Frank ‘n Louie was nominated for the Guinness World Record as the longest recorded living “Janus cat”. This term for cats with two faces refers to Janus, the Roman god of “beginnings and endings.” According to the Encyclopedia Mythica, Janus was especially worshipped as a god during the beginning of important events like harvest time. The Romans named their eleventh month (January) after him and depicted his likeness on coins. They represented him with two faces, side by side, coming and going, a beginning and an end.
As I considered this strange animal this week, I obviously began to consider the human sin of being “two faced.” We use that term to refer to the character of someone who isn’t consistently truthful. It is the idea that they say one thing to one person, and another comment to someone else. They say things they don’t really mean. They are duplicitous.
A good Biblical example of this sin is found in the character of Judas. In John 12:6, Mary (Lazarus’sister) anoints Jesus with some very expensive ointment. It was a tender act of worship. But Judas reacts very negatively. He asks, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor.” Truth is he could not have cared less about the poor. In fact, the rest of that verse reads, “He did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”
Judas was a classic two-faced individual. He said one thing, meant another.
The trouble is many of us struggle with that same disease. It is far too easy to be duplicitous in our modern society. Because everyone does it, we tend to ignore or excuse away half truths, partial truths, things said with a wink and a nod.
So this week, let’s you and I put the picture of this Janus cat in our mind’s eye and do everything we can to avoid speaking out of both sides of our mouths. Let’s value truth in every conversation. We do not want to end up looking like that cat! As Solomon observed, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Prov. 21:23)
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel