The Easiest Person To Deceive Is Oneself
Ed and I can both remember when Flip Wilson used to claim, “The devil made me do it!” On his comedy television show Flip’s character, Geraldine repeatedly blamed the devil for every questionable decision she made. Blaming Satan for our poor choices goes right back to Eve in the Garden of Eden. When God asked Eve what she had done, she said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” There was real truth in what Eve said about her actions.
Ed prides himself on not being hoodwinked by any smooth talkers. I cannot make the same claim, as I can be a sucker for a sad story or a plan that is too good to be true. It is said that people can be tricked by being too hopeful about a promised outcome. Does pride lead us on at times to make a regretful decision? Sometimes there is, no one, but us (ourselves) to blame for our misguided actions and sins.
It is not always easy to admit we make unwise decisions and sin in thought and deed. We tend to want to be more than normal or average. There is a pressure to act smart and capable, even better than others. In sports, we call it competitiveness, where the pressure is on to be the ‘Greatest of all Time.” An example of this was with boxer Cassius Clay who changed his name to Muhammed Ali and had the mantra, “I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee because I am the greatest.”
Many of us would not be so bold as to say, “I’m the greatest!” We may have had, however, thoughts of being better than certain other people. Christian people are often perceived as being judgemental, those who talk and act as if they are superior to other folks. This superiority may include those who are Christians of a different denominational label. Christians are not alone in getting stuck in the mud of thinking they are better than others. Why do all people get deceived thinking that they float like a butterfly while others crawl like a cockroach?
It is worse than a bee sting to realize we have been deceived in our attitude about others, and our attitude concerning our actions. God is never fooled about our wrong thinking and actions. For Christians, the Law of God plays no favorites in that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. God’s law leads us to the truth that we cannot keep it perfectly. The Bible says in Romans that under the law, every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. “Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law, we become conscious of sin.” Being aware of our sinfulness leads us to sorrow and repentance. Our sinfulness shows us the need for the righteousness of God apart from the law.
Only Jesus Christ, God’s Son, obeyed the laws of God perfectly. His obedience is counted as our righteousness through our faith (belief) in Him. Jesus was God’s sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood for all who see themselves as sinners.