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The Dangerous Process of ""Self-Deception""

1 John 1:6 says that if we say we ""have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."" Why would one profess to walk with God, but then live a lie? Perhaps to ""feel"" good about one's self; perhaps to appear tolerant and be accepted by as many people as possible. The Bible says it is foolish to live this way. The good news is that there is a remedy to living the hypocrite's life. John says ""but if we walk in the light"" where God is, we will have true fellowship with Him and the blood of Christ continuously cleanses us from all sin (1:7). To continue to live unto men rather than God is dangerous. It doesn't matter how many people agree with us, what matters is our heart's condition before God (Proverbs 16:5).

John goes on to say that if we don't choose to ""walk in the light,"" we fall into the trap of being self-deceived (1:8). We actually begin to believe the lie we have been living is truth! We might do this by setting up our own measure of truth that is based on our feelings or man's opinions rather than God's Word. Again, a remedy is given - ""if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"" (1:9). We must get honest with ourselves about who we are and recognize the truth about Who God is (we only learn this through His Word, the Bible).

The end result of living to deceive others and ultimately deceiving ourselves is that we actually challenge the truth of God's Word. 1 John 1:10 says ""If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us."" We move from living to impress others to believing our lies are true to concluding that not even God's Word is true. The verse says ""we make Him a liar."" Can we make God a liar? Absolutely not, but this person is so deceived that in his mind, he has made God's Word and void. Charles Spurgeon said ""The only place God is not is in the mind of a proud man.""

Note with much sobriety that there is no remedy given in the next verse! John simply appeals to those he writes that they choose not to sin (2:1). He reminds them again of the privilege they have in relationship with Christ (2:1-2).

Many professing believers live as if they are trying to fool God. God knows the ""thoughts and intents of our heart"" (Hebrews 4:12). How foolish we can be. Let's be honest with others, with ourselves and ultimately, with God - He already knows the truth, why not join Him there quickly?