Deception is a common act of everyday life. It has become so common, many times people don’t even recognize when they are deceptive. In the courtroom, if a witness fails to reveal accurately what is on his mind while under oath, it is called perjury, or deception. If an action or event that is known to be wrong is in a public forum, a scandal occurs. Many scandals happen every day. There are sports, political, sex, corporate, and Olympic scandals. The Watergate scandal should be a stark reminder of the misery we can cause ourselves by covering up the truth. The men involved brought the wrath of the nation down on themselves.
In day-to-day, human relations, we tend to create minor scandals when we misrepresent what is on our minds and hearts. We can give ourselves a variety of reasons for practicing such deception. Some are:
• My friend would hate me.
• My mother would be upset.
• My father would be angry.
• My teacher would flunk me.
• My boss would fire me.
• My friends would be hurt or surprised.
• My church would ask me to leave.
Deception is when you misrepresent yourself to others. When you lie and deceive others for any reason–you violate a commandment:
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25).
To deceive another is to chip away at your own self-respect, even though you receive praise and good will as a result.
If someone is nursing hatred or wrath in his heart and then discovers that he has been deceived, he will shower that wrath on whoever deceived him just as surely as the nation showered its wrath on the Watergate people.
You err when your sense of self-respect is based on the spiritual condition of another person. You build your own self-respect when your words, behavior, emotions, and mental activity line up with God’s commandments.
“The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy” (Proverbs 14:10).
Only you know what goes on underneath your skin. Whether bitterness or joy floods your soul is known only to you. I have spent a lifetime studying people, and am fully convinced that I cannot accurately decide what goes on in someone else’s heart and mind. But, God knows whether what you are thinking or saying lines up with His Spirit that lives within you.
Do we commit spiritual deception against God? If so, then we need to make an adjustment! To come clean before God, who knows all the truth, we must confess our condition accurately before Him and repent of our wrong actions.
Remember the good news–we are just a repentant prayer away from being back in fellowship with God!