Facing the Truth of Who We Are

One of the greatest and saddest deceptions that befall all people, is the deception of self. Too often we believe our own press and/or who we think we are, versus who we truly are before the sight of God Almighty. Because of our sin nature, none of us are as "good" as we should be. And because of God's grace, none of us are as depraved as we could be.

If you're reading this today and aren't sure if you're one of the people living under the deception of who you think you are versus who you truly are as God sees you, I have good news for you. Because God is so kind, is filled with compassion and mercy, and is exceedingly gracious to us, He gives and shows us things He doesn't have to; to help us live in truth. And what is it that God has compassionately given us so we can face the truth of who we really are? He's given us His Word—His holy and infallible "mirror".

"the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes...For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account...But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."
-Psalm 19:8, Heb 4:1213, James 1:25 (ESV)

If we're inebriated with pride, we can look into God's holy and infallible Word, and still come away thinking, "Yep. That's me. I'm good." Remember, those who are confident in their own self-righteousness are the first whom the Lord will oppose...and humble (1 Cor 10:6-7, 11-12). Thankfully, if we truly belong to the Lord, He is faithful to discipline us, and He mercifully provides us with another "mirror"—the words that come out of our mouths (or our keyboards).

Jesus said what comes out of our mouths reveals what's in our hearts (Mt 15:18-19). Jesus also said that whatever we fill ourselves with, will be what flows out of us; and therefore commanded all believers to be filled with the Word of God (Col 3:16).

So if we're truly filled with God's Word, God's love and God's grace, then sacrificial living and loving will flow from us and will enrich others (Php 2:3-4). But if we're filled with our desires, love of self, and feign niceties; then deeds of convenience and perpetual whining will flow from us and will burden others.

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealously and selfish ambition exist, there will be every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."
-James 3:13-18 (ESV)

None of us are sinless. And no one, including Christians will ever attain a sinless state on this side of Heaven. However, Christians alone can and should sin less, and less and less, because that's proof that the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us (Rom 8:29).

God promised that He is faithful to complete the good work that He began in us since the day He granted us the gift of repentance that leads to saving faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. Jesus promised that those who are truly converted will manifest the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in their lives; and there will be evidence that we're being conformed all the more into the image of Christ.

We are all worshipers and we are all conformed by what is most near and dear to us. If the Lord God Almighty is the one we worship; if He is the one who is most near and dear to us, then we will be conformed into His image. We will love what He loves (righteousness) and we will hate what He hates (sin). The battle between God's Holy Spirit within us and the sin in our flesh will be a constant testimony to us that we belong to Christ. But if there is no inner battle between righteousness and sin, but only external consequences, then with great love from Christ our Lord, I urge you to examine yourself with God's Word (2 Cor 13:5).

There are many ways in which we deceive ourselves and thereby, deceive others. All forms of deception is destructive, whether we believe ourselves to be mightier than we are, wiser than we are or more sinful than we are. We all have enough legitimate sins we must die to, so let's not exasperate the situation by believing we've committed sins we actually haven't. And if you have sinned (according to God's Word and not by the opinion of others), don't deny it—instead, repent and be free of it (1 Jn 1:8-9). If you're not sure if you've sinned, check with God (not people...and especially not those who always tell you what you want to hear). Seek the Lord's wisdom by deferring to His Word as your preeminent source of truth (Ps 119:105).

When we're not honest with ourselves about the gifts and talents God has given us, we'll either presumptuously function in gifts we don't have, or we won't use them at all. And if we're not honest with ourselves about our proclivities to specific sins, then we'll never battle them, nor will we repent of them when temptation gives birth to sin.

Only when we daily hold up the infallible and perfect mirror of God's Word before our hearts, can we ever humbly confess our sins, daily repent, receive God's forgiveness, and live in the freedom Christ died to give us—to please, honor and glorify God (Heb 11:6).

"Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."
-Psalm 19:12-14, ESV