We’ve all said it to our spouses and to our kids: “I wish I could record you right now! Then you would know why I am so mad. You would be horrified at your behavior!”
If they could just see themselves.
It’s been said that there are three sides to every story—yours, mine and the truth. The reality is that none of us are beyond self-deception. In fact, our capacity for self-deception is boundless.
“I don’t know why my husband is so mad at me. I just asked him to please take out the garbage.”
What you actually said:
“This house smells like a sewer. I guess someone forgot to take out the garbage.”
This is what I think I look like when I’m asking my kids to re-clean the bathroom after they’ve claimed to have already cleaned it AND THEY HAVEN’T!
This is what I actually look like:
Self-deception is the process of misleading ourselves to accept beliefs about ourselves as true when they are false. Simply, we justify false beliefs about ourselves and our circumstances to ourselves. Why do we do it? What are our intentions?
Motivations for Self-Deception
Others Praise and Admiration
The Cure for Self-Deception
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24 (ESV)
In a non-heated moment ask your family and friends how they perceive you. Are you approachable? How is your tone of voice? Are you respectful, even in stressful confrontations? What about your body language and facial expressions?
Empathy allows us to be others-focused, looking for opportunities to understand and share the feelings of others. When empathy grows self-deception shrinks. (click to tweet) This enables us to keep ourselves in proper perspective.
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation…2 Corinthians 7:10a (NLT)
Let’s be honest before God. We need His grace each day as we face the temptation deceive ourselves. “We must lay before him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.” C.S. Lewis
Do you struggle with self-deception? Which of the above cures resonates with you? What else would you add to the list?