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We’re deceived when truth is hidden and we’re misled into believing something else. But deception doesn’t always come from others. In fact, we must be most attentive to the harms of self-deception.

Bait is used when fishing to conceal the hook and deceive the fish into believing this is just another ordinary meal. And it’s too late before the fish realizes the trap. And this is what happens when we’re deceived. On the surface something appears good. But it only has the appearance of goodness and ultimately leads to harm.

The easy example is with sexual sins. Illicit sexual behaviors appear very enticing on the surface. But in the end they’re a bitter poison leading to death. And most of us know this but can still find ourselves caught in the trap. The culprit is not our lack of knowledge but rather our amazing ability of self-deception. Somehow we convince ourselves that we can scoop fire into our lap and not be burned. But reality is our friend and eventually the lies of deception are exposed.

We can help protect ourselves against the harm of self-deception by surrounding ourselves with trusted friends. As we do life together these relationships provide a constant dose of truth and reality testing in our life. But these friendships can’t help us recalibrate when we keep parts of ourselves hidden. More than mere friendship, we must engage in open conversations in order for light to expose the hidden traps of our deception. God provides a way out, but we must choose it.

And this is why self-deception is so particularly hard to overcome. It’s easy to convince ourselves we’re okay and that we don’t need others to avoid the traps of life. But like the fish, we’re soon caught and much ruin is caused by our deception.

Humbly acknowledge your ability for self-deception and surround yourself with generous doses of truth.

Photo by Thomas Chen on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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