1 John 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
My friend, whom do you think you deceive when you say that you have no sin? You deceive yourself, and you are the only person whom you do deceive. You don’t deceive God. You don’t deceive your neighbors. You don’t deceive your friends. But you sure do deceive yourself. And John says that the truth is not in a man like that because he can’t see that he is a sinner and that he has not reached the place of perfection. 1
Your enemy is a masterful deceiver. He will deceive you into believing a lie, then convince you that it is the truth. You will feel very justified in spreading your discord, but it is a time-bomb wrapped in a lie. You will buy the lie and then sell it to others as the truth. You will be very convincing for awhile, and your friends will comfort your unrepentant sorrow, which is really the hidden sin of pride. But eventually all sin is revealed for all to see. Jesus said that the last days are marked by deception. The spirit of deception is alive and well in the church.
When you start criticizing your pastor, or allow others to spread lies about him, you are definitely traveling on a road called deception. It will take you into the land of darkness and despair. The missing ingredient is humility. True humility leads to repentance, which allows our hearts to be cleansed of resentment, bitterness, and pride. The result will be a thankful, prayerful, and submissive heart towards the shepherd who God has called to watch out for your soul. Imagine how dynamic a Sunday service would be if every member had been praying all week for God’s anointing upon their shepherd.
“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17
To present yourself as sinless is to present yourself as greatly deceived. – TWEET IT
Lord, thank You for revealing my sin, and for providing my redemption.
1. McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (1 John) (electronic ed., Vol. 56). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.