My pastor once said that the problem with deception is that we don’t know when we are being deceived. Now you may think that is self-evident, but most of us don’t really think about the fact that if we are deceived, we don’t know it. For if, indeed, we knew we were deceived, we would no longer be deceived. Knowledge of the truth drives out deception.
Many people are self-deceived because they want to be. They don’t want to face the music and see things as they really are, so they purposely remain in deception. For some, the refusal to know the truth is their way of trying to avoid the pain that could bring. For example, I may choose to be deceived about my inability to get along with people and tell myself that it’s not my fault, because I don’t want to face the fact that I have a problem. So, I deceive myself in order to avoid the pain of admitting I have a problem.
Of course, as long as I choose to be self-deceived, the problem gets worse not better. Only truth will set me free from such a problem, but I must face that truth and then respond appropriately.
Others are self-deceived because they don’t know the truth that will prevent the deception. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Let no one deceive you with empty words…” (Ephesians 5:6). How do you know when you’re hearing the truth or something deceptive? You measure it by the truth standard, the Word of God. That means you need know the Bible well or you can be easily deceived by the empty and false words of all kinds of people.
Any time we live in deception, we are in great danger. I may be deceived into thinking there is water in an empty swimming pool, but upon diving in, neither the sincerity of my belief nor the innocence of my motives will prevent me from being killed by diving into an empty swimming pool. What dangers do you face today because you are deceived? Are you indulging in some self-deceptions? I encourage you to pray daily that God will reveal any deceptions in your life and show you the truth that will set you free from self-deceptions.