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28.09.2019 Feature Article

Self-Deception

Self-Deception

The tragedy of Gehazi was that he never recognized he was first a leper in heart. He assumed that because his environment was right, he was right. Elisha was always before him, the prophetic school always around him and the service of the Lord always by his side. With such surroundings who could possibly be ungodly? The truth is, with such surroundings it is easier to be self-deceived! Self-deception always works on the principle that God is as fuzzy-eyed as people are; we think that because they do not see, He does not see. However, Gehazi reminds us that God sees all too well, and sooner or later people will see what He has been seeing all along.

What is God telling me here? I must root out inward leprosy lest God make it painfully public. He will help me to do it, what I voluntarily expose to Him, He will never expose to the world (1 John 1:9).

One way to do great things for Christ is to do little things for others.

You rob yourself of being you when you try to do what others are meant to do. Be yourself, know your limitations.

The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God (A. W. Tozer).

The penalty for rejecting truth is accepting lies (Warren Wiesbe).

THE CROSS OF CHRIST
The lamb of God was crucified. And penalty for sin was paid; God’s holiness was satisfied. When all our sins on Christ was laid, the cross of Christ reveals God’s love at its worst (Our Daily Bread, August 16, 1992).

FROM SORROW TO SERVICE (2 CORINTHIANS 1)
Josephine Butler, a noted British social worker, proved in a dramatic manner that a way to relieve one’s own burden of sorrow is to shoulder that of someone else. On coming home one day, her little daughter ran out of an upstairs room to greet her. She leaned over the balustrade to see her mother, but lost her balance, crashed to the ground, and died. The mother was broken-hearted, but the God of all comfort did not fail her in her distress.

An old Quaker lady came to comfort her and said, “I have spent most of my life looking after girls from the streets. I am old now and I can no longer handle the work looking after the home where forty of them live. Come and take my job and you will forget your sorrow.” Josephine took over the care of the home and found great fulfillment in doing so. While, of course, she never really forgot her sorrow, by taking on her shoulders the troubles and cares of others, she discovered a remedy for her own loss (J. Oswald Sanders, Facing Loneliness).

I AM GUILTY
Once when Prussian King Fredrick the Great visited Potsdam Prison, every convict he spoke to claimed to be innocent. Finally, he came across one man under sentence of death for stealing who simply said, “Your Majesty, I am guilty and richly deserving of punishment.”

Fredrick turned to the prison governor and said, ‘Free this rascal and get him out of our prison, before he corrupts all the noble innocent people in here.’

From God’s point of view, religious people can be like that prison community. Religious beliefs, rituals, and association often give people a way of denying their shame, guilt, and need of a Savior. Instead of encouraging people to declare their inability to save themselves, religion gives people a front and cover for their unresolved problems (Anonymous).

A young and an uncompromising minister became a pastor of a local church that had stopped growing. He began to teach the people the Word of God, and preached fiery messages. Soon the church started growing. There were two rich brothers in the church who lived ungodly lives. They thought because of their riches they could buy the young pastor. The pastor ignored them and kept on preaching the truth from God’s Word. One of the brothers became ill and died. The church needed money to expand their buildings. The other rich brother came to the pastor with an offer of 1 Million dollars with one condition. He told the pastor I want you to do the funeral of my brother. In his eulogy, if you would just say my brother was a saint, here is a check for 1 Million dollars. The pastor agreed, took the check and deposited it at the bank. When the time for the funeral sermon came, the pastor said to the audience, we have all gathered here to pay our last respect to Mr. So, so, and so. You all know how he lived. He was a crook, a fraud, a hypocrite, immoral, and dishonest. He lived like the devil. But when you we compare the deceased to his brother who is seated with us, he was a saint. The brother was in a state of shock. The young pastor kept his word and kept the money as well.

Kennedy Adarkwa
Kennedy Adarkwa, © 2019

This author has authored 294 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KennedyAdarkwa

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