If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
Pastor John’ Notes:
As human beings, we are easily deceived. Deception is a form of a lie where some measure truth is mingled with falsehood. Adam and Eve were deceived when they ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil. The serpent didn’t tempt them by saying, “Eat the fruit and die!” but hid the terrible consequences of disobedience behind what appeared to be the truth saying, “God knows that when you eat of it, you will become like God.” We are deceived when we can’t see the truth behind the falsehood.
But a self-deceived person is in a terrible condition. They have lied to themselves for so long that they have come to believe their own lies. Self-deceived people are the last to see what everyone else already knows. Sadly, self-deceived people tend to crash and burn. They are so bent on preserving their lies that they refuse to accept any help from others. They would rather lose a relationship than admit the truth. But like the prodigal son, there can come a day of brutal self-awareness by which they can turn back to God.
We can keep ourselves from self-deception by listening carefully to the people who love us. We can ask them for their honest opinion, and thank them for the truth they speak, even though it may hurt. We should remember that anyone can repent at any time. Rather than waiting to hit rock bottom, we can turn back the moment we realize we have deceived ourselves. The moment we repent, we will often find that many friends are willing to help, even the friends we may have harmed along the way.
Lord, keep me from self-deception. Let my continual confession of sin prevent me from being further victimized by the lies I tell myself. Teach me to listen to your Word and to put your teachings into practice. Draw me out of the realm of self-deception into your realm of truth.