Self-Deception and Ripping Off Our Brothers

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Ever get one of those flashes of insight that shows the mucky thoughts you’d rather not let other people see?

I don’t like to admit it, but I this happens to me pretty often. I’m cruising through my day thinking what I’d like to believe are “good Christian thoughts,” when suddenly a subtext of vanity and pride bubbles to the surface.

Judgment.

Condemnation.

Anger.

I seem to discover those thoughts pretty often when I’m in crowds and I slip into an internal slime pit of judgment and condemnation. At a recent conference, I was surrounded by other Christians–people with whom I share a sisterhood and brotherhood at the deepest level: our shared faith in Jesus. Yet I found myself passing judgment every so often based on pure externals.

It was pretty darned ugly. And if we’re honest, we’d have to admit that we’re all familiar with that slime pit.

We all indulge in ageism, sexism, denominationalism, racism, and other forms of judgment and condemnation. We say we believe in loving our neighbor as ourselves, then hurl obscenities on the freeway or scream insults at the ref at the game. We claim we’re committed to showing God’s love to everyone, then insult a telemarketer before we hang up in their ear.

And we can walk around a Christian conference and be more concerned about what people are wearing or whether or not they’re raising their hands than the bond we share in Jesus.

Our self-talk is often a silent seduction. But it is also a valuable tool that reveals our heart and opens the opportunity to spiritual insight, repentance, and a renewed relationship with others through the power of the Holy Spirit.

–Shelly Beach
Author of The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk (Moody Publishers)

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