Delusion or Reality?

I Was Under The Delusion That You Liked Me!

The truth may hurt us, especially when we discover we have mistaken perceptions about another person or situation. It can be a bitter experience to find out what we believed was untrue. Why is it that others could see that we were deceived, but we were blind to the truth?

One of the problems with our fallen nature is that we are very good at deceiving ourselves. Greg Ten Elsof speaks of how we tell ourselves what is comfortable to hear. He uses the phrase, “I Told Me So.” As a college professor, Greg said to himself that he was a better-than-average teacher. He was surprised to learn that 94% of other college professors saw themselves as doing better-than-an-average jobs.

When telling ourselves how we compare to our peers, we stack ourselves up high and others below us. For example, Greg Ten Elsof writes of a survey of one million high-school seniors that found 70% thought they were above average in leadership. Only 2% thought they were below average.

As Christians, we must concern ourselves with how our own self-deception can blur the truth we need to see. It is easy to consider ourselves good and others not so good. We see others as having flaws, faults, and sins. We think of others as not as good as ourselves because we minimize our own flaws, faults, and sins and maximize them for others. The word of God is clear, “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:22)

We may be like a Pharisee who went up to the temple to pray. He was confident of his own righteousness and looked down on others. He prayed confidently, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers -or even like this tax collector.” The tax collector also praying at the temple humbly prayed, “God, have mercy on me a sinner.” (Luke 18:11, 13)

In today’s world, there may be less self-righteous talk expressed at church, but all folks, religious or not, see themselves as good and others as not so good. Individually our attitude is that I’m a good person, better than many others. Our perspective may be valid, but none of us is good compared to God. It is a delusion if we believe that we are as good or wise as God.

It is said that the delusion of the young is that they are smarter than everyone else, especially their parents. Not just the young see themselves as the center of the universe. Today every kind of addiction starts with these self-deceptions: “This won’t hurt anybody. I’ll only try it once to see if I like it. I’ll be careful. I can handle it. I haven’t had any for a week. I can quit whenever I want.”

I am confident I’m not good enough for God by what I think, do, or say, as I am a sinner. So, I thank God for being merciful to me, a sinner through His Son Jesus Christ. “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Praise God!

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