It is easy to be deceived.
We all want to think we are smart enough to spot a con man. We are sure we will be able to recognize a fraud or fake the moment we see it. We are not some simple-minded people who fall for scams and sideshow deception.
And yet, I see people deceived every day, including myself.
This reality has pushed me to become “a numbers guy.” Over the last several years I began tracking the truth of my actions in statistics. I actually started doing this because of sports. Coaches would tell my boys that they were doing something wrong. For example, they would tell them that they were not getting many rebounds in basketball. Then I would start tracking the statistics. How many rebounds did they have? How many did their teammates get? Strengths and weaknesses were revealed through numbers rather than guesses. Quickly I could break down the truth from the lies.
Very often we see things in a way that is not based on truth. Our heart latches on to a piece of information that suddenly outweighs every other piece of information. Then we see the world in a slanted way. Our mind deceives us into believing lies about ourselves. As a preacher, I would say that the voice of evil whispers in our ears and we listen to it with total confidence.
Let me apply this to the Christian life. A person will tell me they are a committed Christian. I might then track the numbers. Suddenly a very different picture begins to emerge. Quite often we believe the very best about ourselves without any real facts to back it up. We are deceived into thinking we are something we are not.
Let me ask you these questions to help you honestly evaluate your spiritual life.
How much time did you spend reading the Bible this week or this month?
How much time did you spend in prayer this week of this month?
How much time did you spend with other believers trying to grow in your faith this month?
How much of your time has been spent in the service of the Lord this month?
How many worship programs have you attended this year?
There are other important questions we can ask, but this will get you started. We must ruthlessly evaluate our lives on a regular basis so that we are not deceived in our faith.
I really hope that you are living life as a fully devoted follower of Jesus. My question is this, “Would the evidence in your life demonstrate your faith to be real?” Be honest.