What does the Scripture say about self-deception?
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." II Corinthians 11:2-4
In the above text, Paul is speaking of being ready to be presented to Christ as His Bride and he indicates that there is one thing which could prevent us from being ready: deception.
I had a friend who, no matter what situation she got herself into, she would convince herself that it was good. As a result, she never learned from her mistakes. I once told her, "The most dangerous thing about you is that you can deceive your own self." What I didn't realize at the time is that this capability exists for each person. The carnal mind is fantasy-prone, and will run to lies and delusion so as not to submit to the truth.
Pastor Zac Poonen examines the Scriptures to see what God's word has to say about self-deception. You should listen to this message.
8 Ways We Can Deceive Ourselves
- Ephesians 5:6 - Seeking to understand spiritual things primarily by human intellect or cleverness.
- I Corinthians 6:9-10 - Assuming that we can be a "believer" and continue in unrighteousness.
- I Corinthians 15:33 - Believing that we can hang around "bad company" and not be affected.
- Galatians 6:3 - Thinking more highly of yourself than you ought, even if based on some gifts or talents God has given you.
- Galatians 6:7-8 - Not understanding that what we reap is what we sow and that we also "reap" eternal life.
- James 1:22-25 - Forgetting the importance of "doing" what the word says, not just "hearing" it.
- James 1:26, 3:2-13 - Not knowing that all our "good works" mean nothing if we can't control our tongues.
- I John 1:8 - Never seeing your own faults, but only the faults of others.