Canard is a French word that means duck, but to understand the true meaning of “canard,” you need to consider its older context. The French phrase, “vendre des canard a moitie, means “to sell ducks by half.”
As the story goes there was one merchant in a town who sold ducks. Everything went well until a second merchant entered the market, and he started a bidding war. The price went from 8 Francs to 7 and down to 6. The original duck merchant became frustrated, so he advertised: “Ducks for Two Francs.” However, in small print at the bottom of the advertisement, it read: “for half a duck.”
The word “canard” became associated with something that was literally true, but also misleading. Canard is now used in reference to trickery, deceit, or a hoax.
Paul warns us of canards: “We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Ephesians 4:14).
Flash back to the Garden of Eden and the serpent’s persuasive little chat with Eve that had resounding repercussions. In this conversation, Satan employed deceptive language to create doubt in the mind of Eve: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
“Indeed,” as used here, is a word of innuendo; Satan was saying: “You’ve got to be kidding! Only a crazy person would limit your freedom and say you can’t have something that is so good for you.” This was a tactic to kindle Eve’s smoldering desire.
And, desire never reads the fine print. James spoke of the subtle power of desire: “Each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death (1:14, 15).”
Did you notice the two words preceding “desires?” They are not “your neighbor” or “your friend.” They are: “his own.” What may tempt me may be of no concern to you, but both of us are responsible to control the desires that urge us on.
Ray Stedman has an interesting comment on this:
The first step the Devil takes with us is always to arouse desire to do wrong, to create a hunger, a lure or enticement toward evil. The second is to permit intent to form and an act to occur. This is what James describes as “desire when it has conceived bringing forth sin.” Notice that the symbol he employs is that of conception and birth. There is a gestation period in temptation, for once desire is aroused there occurs a process within which sooner or later issues in sin, an act that is wrong. The third stage is that the Devil immediately acts upon the opportunity afforded by the evil act to move in and to produce results which Scripture describes as death — “Sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.”
If you want to give a little more thought to this subject, think about how Satan tempted Eve in connection to the two” lusts” and one “pride” in I John 2:15-16.