“Let no one deceive himself.” 1 Corinthians 3:18
Tiger Woods was an exceptional American success story. He was considered the greatest golfer of all time. He had a beautiful wife, two children, and a wholesome image that netted him 110 million dollars annually in endorsements. But Tiger Woods was living a double life. During the night of Thanksgiving 2009, his wife discovered the awful truth that he had been having an extra marital affair. As the days turned into weeks, the number of reported affairs continued to skyrocket. And the life of Tiger Woods crashed!
In the aftermath, a news reporter asked Tiger Woods, “How could you lie to so many for so long?” Tiger Woods answered, “Because I first lied to myself.” The great apologist, Ravi Zacharias, later said, “I would love to have had a follow-up question. My question would be: What did you lie to yourself about? Did you lie to yourself that you would never get caught? Or did you lie to yourself about the fact, that in doing what you did, therein lay your happiness? That is the deadly lie!”
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives this warning to the Church in Corinth, “Let no one deceive himself.” The church at Corinth was known for its immorality, and Paul wanted them to know, and he wants us to know, that it is possible to deceive even your very own self! You may think that you can toy with sin and remain unaffected. But that is a lie from the Father of lies! And to the degree that you believe the lie, you have deceived yourself! “Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth DEATH.”
This is serious business! To be self-deceived is very dangerous! The truth is that Satan always intends our destruction – never our fulfillment or happiness! To quote Ravi Zacharias again, “The really poisonous lie is believing that you can violate the sacred boundaries that God has set, and that in that violation, you will find your fulfillment and find your happiness. It is simply not true!” May God enable us increasingly to see the poisonous, deceptive nature of sin – and to live in wholehearted devotion to the One who is the way, the TRUTH and the life!