Self-deception can be dangerous because it blinds us to the truth and leads us to believe lies. The Bible warns us of this in Proverbs 14:12, which says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
How many deceive themselves and may think they are living according to God’s word, but in reality, are not. This is highlighted in James 1:22, which says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of not living what many preach, but ultimately, they are only deceiving themselves. We see it everywhere in todays version of Christianity, but ignore it.
Indeed people who deceive themselves can lead to false judgment and division within the church. How many are not living what they preach, but have become religious or social media celebrities and influencers. Perhaps the well-known leaders in the church or the not so well known in our families and communities.
That said, the internal deception leads to the missed treatment of people who are living the word and falsely accused of self-righteousness; when it is the righteousness of Christ, they abhorrently accuse by thinking everyone is like them. It’s dangerous, and often innocent people suffer the consequences of envy and the nasty backbiting and slander—it’s hurtful.
Indeed, this covert behavior can cause rifts within the church, as those who are truly living the word do speak up in truth. Galatians 6:3 warns us of this, saying, “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.”
It’s so important to be extra careful not to fall into this trap and to always strive to live according to God’s word, both in public and in private. If you owned a parrot can we question it?
Living the Word is an essential part of the Christ follower’s walk. It is not enough to merely listen to the Word without putting it into practice.
James 1:22-24 says, “But 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 who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and forgets what he was like.”
Furthermore, it is crucial to understand that self-righteousness leads to deception. When people think they are above reproach, but not they are more likely to sin and hurt blame others wrongly.
Instead, we should live authentically, acknowledging our imperfections and seeking to grow in Christ-likeness. This includes studying Scripture; the results bear the fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives. Anyone should be able to follow everything you say, and find you without fault because the default is who you say you are.
We should also be mindful of the company we keep and the jokes we make. Even if a person says they are only kidding, their true character will eventually come to light. Let us not play charades with our faith, but instead, let us be genuine in our pursuit of Christ. As Christians, we are not perfect, but we should aim to be like Christ, who is perfect. In John 14:6, Jesus says that He is the way, the truth, and the life.
As followers of Christ, we should strive to let Christ’s goodness in us be a testimony of the power of Jesus Christ, as stated in Matthew 5:16. It is not self-righteous to speak the truth, as long as it is done with love and respect. However, there is no room for fake and it’s easy to spot.
There is a distinct difference between being imperfectly broken as a person who makes mistakes and living through the word of God—a person who experiences failures to learn lessons to grow in the spirit, then from the people who pretend to be righteous to look a certain way, but the hidden truth always slips out. It isn’t wise to ignore red flags. A red flag is used as a warning of danger.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
C. Brejcha ©️