But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (James 1:22-14, KJV).
My mother passed away 22 years ago, but I remember her stern warning, “Don’t fool yourself,” when she was giving me instruction on human beings who have agendas and ulterior motives that might not be readily apparent.
Later as I walked through life, I would remember her words and could see the truth. I discovered that what I saw before my eyes was not an apparition and because I caught a flash of it in my physical and spiritual vision, I should believe it; it was unnecessary for actions or behaviors to manifest themselves repeatedly, because undoubtedly, they would.
Unsure of myself, I would sometimes wait, choosing to disbelieve or ignore what I saw, only to find that a relationship which should have been terminated in its early stages (because I had then seen the truth) was prolonged and had an ugly ending. If only I had not fooled myself.
Being deceived by others may be horrific, but what’s even worse is self deception. We then have to ask ourselves, “Was I deceived by the other person or did I choose to ignore the truth?” Also, deception is usually more about us than it is the other person, e.g., what’s inside us, what’s important to us, our desires/lusts vs. God’s best for us, etc. And concerning lusts, they are not always sexual, because people lust for many things such as fame, wealth, money, attention or prestige.
Not seeing the truth about ourselves, our situation, our relationship with others, but above all, our relationship with the All Mighty God can be spiritually fatal and lead to an extreme downfall.
How can we see and know the truth? By staying close to the source of all truth. Jesus, the Christ, stated clearly “I am the way and the truth and the life…” (John 14:6, KJV). If we are unsure about a circumstance in life, a business decision, a personal decision, etc., we should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth (John 16:13) and give us wisdom on how to proceed. He will never lead us in the wrong direction and will reveal much to us about ourselves, and if we allow him to work on us, he will conform us into the image of God’s son, which is a lifelong process.
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