Posts Tagged ‘deception’

  

“When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.” ‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Usain Bolt proved his dominance in the 100m and 200m, bringing two gold medals back to Jamaica. But with his personal achievements came his personal praises: “It’s what I came here to do. I’m now a legend, I’m also the greatest athlete to live…I’ve got nothing left to prove. I’ve showed the world I’m the best and, right now, I just want to enjoy myself.”

There’s nothing wrong with being praised for doing a good job. But when egos do the talking, it makes it hard for others to cheer too. Even when someone is truly that spectacular at something, boasting will come back to haunt them. 

Self-hatred and arrogance are both deadly traps. You are never as bad, or good, as you think! The greatest praise we can hear comes from our Heavenly Father! He’s ready to applaud your actions! You are loved!

  

“Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs‬ ‭22‬:‭1‬ NLT)

Robert Hanssen was deeply religious, being a devout part of the Opus Dei sect of the Catholic Church. He was also very dedicated, giving almost 25 years of service to the Intelligence Field of the FBI. But what he lacked among his good traits was the most important one – he lacked character. Working as a double-agent for the Soviet Union, he was the most notorious spy in American history, costing many lives and endangering our national security, all for ego and a little more money to live on. 

According to the Bible, there are some things of greater value than riches, and one is relationship. We are not reflectors of God’s goodness because of our income status, political affiliation, or esteemed popularity, but because we simply act like God’s Word says we should. A good reputation only comes from right action, which in turn stems from godly character. 

Abigail Van Buren of “Dear Abby” fame once said concerning Character: ‘The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.’ The Golden Rule still applies! What I will do stems from who I truly am. Let your goodness stem from your godliness! You are loved today! 

IMG_1619

They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.'” (Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭10‬ NIV)

Søren Kierkegaard was a 19th-century Danish theologian and philosopher. Still a lightning rod years after his death, Kierkegaard was known for his attack on the empty formalities and shallowness of the Church of Denmark. In reference to the issue of self-deception, something he saw both in the world and the church, he once said, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

We all like to see life through our rose-colored glasses because negativity is such a drain. But as Christians, we must live passionately for truth, even that which hurts us. A true disciple knows not only the sting of correction, but also the benefit of the needed change, as well as the love of a friend who may have shared it. When we practice self-deception (“I’m a good person”, “God knows my heart”, “They had that coming”…), we become blind to real truth, the things that set us free. And self-imposed bondage is the most shameful of all.

Be a person of truth! The hard admissions that we must reconcile only serve to make us stronger disciples, a people that can lead out of a true example, not a hollow shell of how we wish to be seen. Embrace hard truth! You are loved today!

IMG_1378.JPG

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God…You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News.” (Galatians‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ NLT)

In 1796, a physician named Edward Jenner decided to test a theory. Jenner noticed that milkmaids who had contracted cowpox were later immune to smallpox, which was killing millions. He tested this theory by infecting a boy with both. The boy remained healthy, and the world’s first vaccine was born. The cows, for their part, were honored when the term “vaccine” was coined — “vacca” is Latin for cow.

Vaccines work because it takes a piece of the disease to stimulate the body to fight it and prevent the real disease from happening. In the same way, some things that sound religious really aren’t, but because it leaves such a bad taste in our mouth, it prevents us from accepting real truths. It’s one of the oldest tricks in our Enemy’s playbook.

Questioning things isn’t bad if it presses past skepticism to a hunger for spiritual truths. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! Stay in tune with God’s word so that nothing can lead you astray! Recognize the truth! You are loved today!

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” (1 John 4:1 NLT)

[Martin] Luther is the first man to raise against the Pope and the organisation of the Church. It was the first of the great revolutions. And thanks to his translation of the Bible, Luther replaced our dialects by the great German language.”

This quote by Adolf Hitler is one of several that caused over 40 million Protestant Germans & several Church denominations to fall for Nazism as “the will of God”. As we know, scores of atrocities were committed by the Nazis & were condoned by the Church. Hitler even executed some 6,000 pastors, some who stood by him!

One who saw the light, though, was Martin Niemoller. While at first supporting Hitler from his pulpit, The Lord helped him to see the truth of Hitler’s actions. When he was publicly executed in 1945, he penned these famous words:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.”

Test everything that is said about or for God. You do it by how the Holy Spirit bears witness to your seeking heart & by what God’s word says. Emotions can be manipulated & God’s Word twisted, but God shows Truth to whoever will seek it! Live the Christ Life Christ’s way! You are loved!

20140115-102016.jpg