Chapter 1: Deception Infection: Telling Ourselves the Truth
As we see ourselves through the lens of our experiences, beliefs and perspectives, we all have our blind spots.
No matter how objective we hope to be, our viewpoint is always distorted to some–sometimes large–degree.
The longer we view ourselves through a distorted lens, the more likely we are to believe a distorted truth.
Groeschel really has a great way of grabbing the reader’s attention. I’ve already been underlining like crazy.
In a subsection entitled, “Flattery Will Get You Somewhere” Groeschel goes on to tell us that since we can only see ourselves from only one perspective it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate picture of ourselves.
He’s totally right! Sometimes, well almost all the time, it takes other people to see what we can’t see in ourselves. We are in such denial that we have a problem that eventually we begin to believe the lie.
So why can’t we see these toxins in our own lives? Groeschel points us to the Bible where David writes in Psalm 36:2-3 that “in their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.” We fail to notice because we become so good at self deception.
Basically, we manufacture our own poison and administer regular doses to ourselves.
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WOW!! That quote really spoke to me. We get so caught up in the struggles and stressors of life and fail to pay attention to that small little white lie that we say won’t hurt anyone. Then the lie becomes bigger and bigger and soon we aren’t even under the realization that something is wrong. We believe we are fine. It’s the other people who are wrong. “I don’t have a problem, it’s you with the problem.”
We deny, suppress or minimize what is true. By default, we assert, adorn and elevate what is false. When we finally see the truth, we think the truth is a lie.
Groeschel presents another question to the reader: “how do we begin identifying our self told lies and replacing them with the truth?” According to Groeschel, we do a very thorough internal self examination. Spiritual toxins will “infuse your thinking as you wade through our culture.” We must examine our life and eliminate these toxins.
- Examine your life for toxic behaviors–anything that distracts you from your eternal mission
- Look within for toxic emotions–any deep feelings that lead you away from God and not toward Him.
- Take a long look at unhealthy consumptions–the media you consume, the web sites you visit, the people you spend the most time with.
I know that with me, social media definitely takes up a large chunk of my time. It’s something I’m trying to work on. I went on a media fast a few years ago. It’s probably time for another one.
I also struggle with my emotions sometimes. I allow Satan to use my weaknesses and have been known to fall into a deep depression. Being bipolar, sometimes I have a hard time with my emotions. Luckily, I’m on a medication that has me stable currently. If I sense a shift in emotions or if I begin to feel uneasy I try to focus my attention on the good things in life and what God has blessed me with.
Groeschel warns us that “the closer you get to uncovering a toxic killer in your life, the harder the enemy will fight to keep his grip.”
He’s right! Satan is always on the offense, looking to bring us down in any way he can.
When you clearly identify what is slowly killing you, you can take the toxic influences to Jesus for cleansing, purifying and healing.
There comes a time when we must come clean with these toxic behaviors. Because once we do, once we surrender it all to Christ, we will be set free! God’s truth sets us free!!