|Avoid Delusion by Walking in Truth and Light||
|By dstrickland | 16 Aug 2010 ||
Does this quote seem familiar to those of you who are acquainted with Living Free?
"A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying--to others and to yourself." From The Brothers Karamazov by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Even though this to-the-point description of the root and result of the addiction process was written 130 years ago, it accurately describes what happens to people today when they lie to themselves and excuse their sinful choices. The delusion that results can happen to anyone.
So, what can a person do to stay free or break free from this self-destructive death spiral? Here are three things to consider:
- Realize that there is such a thing as right and wrong, good and bad, holy and profane and that the standard for knowing the difference lies outside our own personal feelings and beliefs. We cannot just "let our conscience be our guide". What is sinful is defined by the standard set forth in the Word of God and not by our own personal opinions or feelings. Judge everything by the objective standard of God's law. Excuse nothing, all the while knowing that God is faithful to forgive when we agree with his standard and ask forgiveness.
- Seek for and listen to the counsel of others. We have a responsibility to tell the truth to one another in love, and part of that truth is expressing our concerns when we see people excusing themselves for doing what is contrary to scripture. And when someone brings such correction, we are to listen carefully and not become defensive.
- Walk in the Spirit moment by moment. The Holy Spirit is our faithful counselor and guide, but it is up to us to pay attention to his gentle voice as we go through our daily routines. He is faithful to fulfill his work in us.