Growing up, my dad always said that deceiving people was bad, but the biggest deception of all he said was deceiving your own self. You see, the ones who deceive others are most likely aware of their actions, which suggests that there could be a day they may realise the hurt caused to others and perhaps stop and repent.
For the one in self deceit, however, they are blind to themselves and their actions, making them blind towards others as well, which leaves the question, ‘if you don’t realise you have taken a wrong turn, how then can you make it right? ‘
There are various instances in scriptures where certain actions have been defined as self deceit, and the purpose of looking at these is not to put anyone down or bring any form of condemnation, rather as a form of self examination for the purpose of growth ;bearing in mind that growth ought to be one of the constants in everyone as long as they are alive.
For the purpose of this blog, this will be a two part series, and for this part, we shall be looking at three areas of self deceit . The first of these would be :
1) Walking by the world’s standard of wisdom.
“Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”
1 Corinthians 3:18-19 NLT
There are so many things in God’s order of doing things that don’t make sense to the ordinary man. Things like serving rather than lording it over as being the greatest form of leadership, giving in faith even when in lack and need . The world will call you a fool when things are working against you, and you choose to believe and confess God’s word rather than acknowledge the facts. You will be cheered on by the world system if you step on toes and crush a few people just to get to the top. The list goes on, and the pressure is out there, yet God’s word says you will be walking in self deceit if you choose the world’s standard of doing things , why you may ask? A simple response would be, if you are a believer, and you expect to get a believer’s result in your life , then you will need to follow, not the world’s system but God’s system of doing things; a lot of things which make absolutely no sense to the ordinary man.
2) Deceit number two is thinking your abilities alone brought you to where you are
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
James 1: 16- 17 NKJV
God is the giver of everything good. He is
the giver and the source of life and everything good in it and He doesn’t give based on how good you are or how hard you have worked because it wouldn’t be a gift if that was the case , but a wage . The difference between a wage and a gift is that you work for one, and the other is freely given. God’s goodness is a gift, not a wage, and His gift is unbiased because there is no variation in God. He doesn’t go changing His mind because you haven’t quite lived right this week or last month or whenever. So the very essence of life and strength to work comes from Him, and one would be living in self deceit if they thought their own might alone could accomplish anything.
3) Another self deceit is one thinking
they are too important to help another.
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.”
You are actually working in obedience to God when you help someone else make life easier for them. Humans are not made for isolation. We are communal beings, and part of that involves being there for other people in whatever way we can. Do not withhold help from somebody if it is in your ability to offer it. Denying someone help when you can offer it is a way of proclaiming self-importance, which is a form of self
deceit. Let us be quick and eager to be there for one another.
….. to be cont’d