23 Oct The Prison of Self-Deception
What a word. It includes anything and everything, anyone and everyone. And yet, life is unique and original. There is no duplicate of my life story, nor yours, for that matter.
I continue to find myself wondering, observing, questioning, reminiscing over life…A few years back, I worked in the mental health field at an inner city area. I remember seeing individuals and hearing their life stories. There was transparency. There was vulnerability. There was a brokenness that allowed healing. When I began to counsel in the Christian arena, I noticed a pattern; many of the life stories I listened to pointed me towards the realization that transparency and vulnerability were not in the picture as much. In fact, I noticed many individuals were lying to themselves, caught up in self-denial and deception. I remember thinking that something was wrong with this picture. How could we, as Christians who know the Truth, be blind?
Recently, I read the passage in John 9, where a blind man was healed by Jesus and questioned by the church folk. They questioned him on whether he believed Jesus was the true Messiah. And he went by common sense and answered them. He did not know who the Messiah was, but he did know that he was blind from birth and now could see through the healing of Jesus. For that, he was thrown out by the church folk.
I wonder if too many traditions and habits have caused us church people to throw out those who come to conclusions that make sense but are not part of our agenda nor in our control. What does that do to our lives as we go through our own journeys? Doesn’t this just continue to put scales over our eyes to the point where we are falsely painting a picture of our lives that is simply not accurate? How many times have we harmed ourselves as a result?
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)
Sometimes, we rely too much on ourselves and on others to show us the way of life, forgetting that we are beautifully flawed and in so much need of our Savior, who is the only One qualified to show us and free us from the scales we put on our eyes. We have so many opinions on how things should be and so many ideas on how to better others, but maybe we just need to take a step back and allow the Perfect One to work in us.
It is the most heartbreaking, saddest thing to see others live their lives lying to themselves. I’ve been there. And if I become too comfortable, I can get right back into that prison. Yes, a prison. Self-deception binds and chokes life out of an individual. That is the opposite of freedom.
But, His truth sets us free. When we continue to read His teachings and are able to increase our self-awareness as a result, those scales on our eyes begin to fall. We are able to see more clearly, because we begin to see life through God’s lens, not our tainted, dirty ones.
I believe our unique life stories can hold so much more color and freedom when we begin to confront the areas in our lives that are being falsely put together as something that is not. It is not God’s intention for us to have beating hearts with no life. We know His Truth. Yet, as Christians, we do not get to the place of breakthrough due to lack of vulnerability and honesty. God didn’t call us to be perfect. He called us to believe and learn from Him. And it is through Him that our lives can hold such glorious freedom; with no chains…no scales…no lifelong prison sentences imposed by our own selves.