Stop Fooling Yourself
James 3:13–18 (NKJV)
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, DO NOT BOAST AND LIE AGAINST THE TRUTH. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
This is a tough passage to swallow isn’t it? This is a passage of Scripture that begs us to examine ourselves and see if we are following demonic influences or Godly influences. So many of us have lied to ourselves and to others about our spirituality. We profess that we are good or we excuse our behaivor or maybe even give lipservice to how bad we are, but in our hearts we are so very wrong and refuse to accept how wrong we have been.
I have listened to brutal men excuse their wicked behaivor all the while fooling themselves into thinking that they are spiritual by saying they “KNOW IT’S WRONG”. However their excuses give away the lie. This is lipservice to the truth. Wrong is wrong. In this passage the Lord calls to the bench the witness of works to help the believer realize that he is not walking in the Holy Spirit but the unholy spirit. These men use their wife’s behaivor to excuse their own. Instead of taking leadership of their homes, they resort to being bullies and frightening their families into submission. Some scream and yell, some hit and hurt but all decieve themselves when they blame others. They LIE AGAINST THE TRUTH and even use it to abuse their families by saying if my wife were more like Sarah in the Bible, if my kids would just behave I wouldn’t have to scream and yell all the time, or they excuse themselves by claiming to be just so tired and weary that no one could do better in my circumstances. All of this is bull. It is self-pitying and self-serving and full of bitterness. “I’m not that bad” is another shade of the lies we tell ourselves.
The Bible teaches us a better way. The Bible holds up Jesus and says look! Here is a perfect man! Here is a man that walked in the Spirit and endured for your sake more than you will ever have to! Look! Here is a better way! But my friends, we need to face ourselves squarly in the mirror of the Word and apply it.