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Stepping Stones: Self-Deception Traps Your Thinking

Stepping Stones: Self-Deception Traps Your Thinking
May 30, 2010 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Tip

What is a hypocrite? According to Webster, a hypocrite is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion, a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. In other words, a hypocrite pretends to be they aren’t. The definition doesn’t distinguish whether the deception is intentional or subconscious(unintentional).

The Bible teaches that a hypocrite is one who pretends to be pious without really being so…one who talks the talk without walking the walk. Jesus confronted hypocrites vigorously in His earthly ministry. The resultant anger generated by these confrontations of truth against this self-deception fueled the religious leaders’ desire to kill Him.

A hypocrite knows what is right but makes elaborate excuses for himself and rationalizes why his behavior is allowable, when he does wrong. He weaves a web of self-deception that eventually traps his thinking and keeps him from seeing the truth about himself. He makes himself king and writes his own rules to stamp his conduct as permissible.

We all tend to condemn other people’s actions and attitudes we know are wrong. At the same time, we are prone to excuse the same or worse behaviors in ourselves. We put on a good front and try to hide our real attitudes and feelings. We try to convince others…and even ourselves…that we are OK.

We might be able to fool others. We might even delude ourselves for a while. But God knows our hearts. He is not impressed by our outward displays of “being religious” or following the rules. He considers what we are inside… our motivators, desires, and fears.

Today, objectively examine whether you are putting up a good front but harboring sin in your life? Maybe the sin is something you are doing…participating in pornography, an adulterous relationship, angry outbursts, sharp words, or some other wrong behavior. Maybe it’s hidden inside…fear, anxiety, insecurity, bitterness, envy, unforgiveness. Remember that whatever it is…God already knows. He loves you and wants to help you overcome. You can start on the path to ending the sinful behavior by admitting your guilt to yourself…and to Him. WITHIN REACH can then help you take the next steps of applying the Bible and allowing God into those deep places in your heart and life to transform your heart.
Click here to share your perspective about self-deception.

Dear Father God, I know I’ve been living a lie. I also know that you see the real me–you see my heart. Please forgive my sin and give me the strength to overcome. Help me to be honest with You, with myself, and with others. I pray this and all prayers in the name of Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth
He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts.”
Luke 16:15

“You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy…full of greed and wickedness!”
Luke 11:39

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