Self-Deception Can Be Deadly

Posted in: Deception, 0042
By Dr. Larry Ollison

From the beginning, Satan has been a deceiver. In the Garden of Eden, he deceived Eve and he has been deceiving mankind ever since (Genesis 3).

Now don't take me wrong for what I am about to say. I am not defending Satan. He is a liar and a deceiver. But what I am saying is this – sometimes we are deceived and it is not Satan who deceives us.

First Corinthians 3:18 says, “Let no one deceive himself.” And in 1 John 1:8 it says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” We can see clearly from these two verses that it is possible to deceive ourselves.

How do we deceive ourselves anyway? Once again let's go to the Word. James 1:22-25 says, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

According to the Bible, a man who hears the Word and does not do it deceives himself. Because he hears the Word of God, he has convinced himself that everything is okay. The reality, however, is that everything is not okay. He just thinks it is. Therefore, he has deceived himself.

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus tells the story of two men who built houses. One man, a wise man, built his house on the rock and when the storms came, his house withstood the storms.

The other man, a foolish man, built his house on the sand. When the storms came, his house was destroyed. Jesus said the man who built his house on the rock was like someone who hears His sayings and does them. He compared the foolish man who built his house on the sand to a man who hears His sayings and does not do them.

Both men built houses and probably both houses looked good. Both men heard the sayings of Jesus and that's good. But when the storms came, only the house that was built on the rock, only the man who acted on what he heard, survived. Acting on the Word of God is what we call faith.

We must not deceive ourselves. Hearing the Word of God without acting on the Word can be deadly. God didn't give us His Word just so we would be highly educated. Education is good. It's a good thing to read and study God's Word, but without action, it profits us nothing. That's what the scribes and Pharisees did at the time of Jesus and Jesus rebuked them for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23:13-15).

So, we have a choice to make. Do we hear the Word and sit back and say, “That sounds pretty good” and do nothing? Or, do we hear the Word and then act on what we hear?

A doer of the Word is someone who prays for the sick. A doer of the Word is someone who forgives. A doer of the Word is someone who loves those who don't love in return. A doer of the Word is someone who casts out demons. A doer of the Word is someone who is not self-deceived.

Devotion 0042