People don’t set as their goal in life-“I want to live in delusion.” Yet it happens all the time. Proverbs 14:12 NIV says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
Why is it we find it so easy to believe a lie? Why are we so often confused about what really is the truth-especially when it relates to ourselves?
Many of the lies we believe have been taught us from our earliest years-by our family, our friends, our culture. Just because millions of people believe a lie doesn’t make it the truth.
How we Deceive Ourselves
God gives three examples of how we deceive ourselves. Each contains a lie wrapped in the truth.
1. Failing to apply God’s truth – “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 NIV. All too often Christians slip into the false belief that it is OK to just listen to God’s truth.
2. Failing to control our tongue – “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” James 1:26 NIV.
3. Failing to see the only source of good gifts – “Do not be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:16-17 NIV.
So What Breaks Delusion?
Whether it is self-delusion, or delusion by another person, there are two options we face in breaking the power of these false beliefs.
The Easy Way
The easy way to break down delusion is to listen to God’s truth, and act on it. We need to tell ourselves the truth. We need to be honest with others-especially about our weaknesses and problems.
The Hard Path to Breaking Delusion
When we choose to ignore God’s truth, we send ourselves down the paths of delusion and experience the painful consequences of those choices. The longer we live with delusion, the more pain we will experience. Pain can become the power that helps break the delusion. The truth is-pain is our friend, and it can break through our false beliefs, and bring us face to face with the truth.