By Kelly Wright
Where are you noticing places of emptiness and exhaustion? This time of year, we often attempt to fill the emptiness and exhaustion in our lives by overindulging and overspending. Instead of identifying what we are really feeling or noticing, we deceive ourselves thinking that eating or shopping will fill the void.
Deception is any statement or action that hides the truth.
Deception is a big deal, but often happens in small, subtle ways. One very subtle deception is self-deception. We can sell anything to the person in the mirror. We do it all the time.
On one hand, we have reality and truth and on the other hand, we have what we want to believe is true. These two don’t always match up and when they don’t, we usually go with what we want to believe to be true. So, I may want to believe I can do it all, but the truth is I’m human – I have limits.
Not only do we deceive self, but we also deceive others. Of course, we do this with blatant lies, but deception happens in more subtle ways like telling half-truths, omitting important details, or people pleasing.
This time of year, we deceive self and others by saying yes to activities that we don’t have time for; overspending because you feel pressure to please others; and not being honest with how we need to care for ourselves in a healthy way.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
Is there a cure for this life-taking pattern of deception in our lives?
Paul helps us in the battle against deceit. He says in Ephesians 4:21-25 : 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So, stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
We have heard about Jesus and learned His truth, and at Christmas we have this tangible reminder in the birth of Christ. The Truth is there in flesh—there is no deceit in him.
The antidote for deceit is always truth. Let us gaze expectantly at the Truth this Advent season. Let Jesus shape our desires and be our forever provision. Let us see the light of truth shining forth from a starry night in Bethlehem.