Self-Deception

A Sunday school teacher had just concluded her lesson and wanted to make sure she had made her point. She said, “Can anyone tell me what you must do before you obtain forgiveness from sin?”

There was a short interval of silence and then, from the back of the room, a small boy spoke up. “Sin,” he said.

Satan loves to make us feel that our sin makes us helpless to ever be forgiven or loved by God. There’s an equally dangerous way the enemy deceives. He makes us feel like we’re okay when we’re not.

Satan wants us to feel innocent when we’re guilty, clean when we’re dirty, virtuous when we’re wicked, godly when we’re unholy, so that we’ll continue in the sin that’s destroying us.

God’s Word warns us against this type of self-deception:

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

Apart from the objective standard of God’s Word, we can do all kinds of things to deceive ourselves about our guilt.

We can deceive ourselves into thinking that times have changed, and so we don’t need to fret over sexual sin.

We can deceive ourselves into thinking that we had a good reason to lie, and so we don’t need to feel bad about being dishonest.

We can deceive ourselves into thinking that since everyone around us is cheating, it’s only fair that we cheat, too.

We can deceive ourselves into thinking that since we are in a committed relationship with the person we’re living with, we don’t need a ceremony or a piece of paper to make it right.

Then, we come to God’s Word, and He speaks and says: God is truth, and He wants us to speak the truth and live the truth. God is pure, and He wants us to be pure. God has created and honored marriage, and will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.

Between the two warnings in 1 John 1:8 (If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves) and 1 John 1:10 (If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar), is a beautiful promise:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

God wants us to feel guilty when we are guilty, so that we can bring the guilt to Him and be forgiven.

Remember, when it comes to your guilt, Satan will always deceive you, and God will always tell you the truth.

Have a great day and keep moving forward!