Self-deception is a terrible thing to be ensnared with, as it can be very unmerciful. As it is commonly said, “Those who are self-deceived do not know they are deceived.” Consequently, in their own eyes they are always right, no matter how foolish their thinking may be. Furthermore, as a result they make bad decisions based on faulty thinking. Even some of the most “brilliant” fall into self-deception. Ironically, sometimes they are the quickest to be lured. A common denominator for all who are trapped by self-deception, regardless of status or intellect, is pride. Other than Jesus Christ, there is not one human being on the planet, who has not experienced self-deception at some point in his life. A synonym for the term self-deceived is “fool.”
The Bible has a lot to say about the fool. For example, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15, KJV). In Proverbs 14:12 we read, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (KJV). Yet Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (KJV). A telltale sign of a fool is his rejection of wisdom, instruction, and wise counsel. The foolish refuse to receive any of these things, while those who are wise will embrace them. This is especially true when it comes to that which is from God. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee . . .” (KJV). Like it or not, not only are we accountable for what we do know, we are also held accountable for what we do not know. That is to say, we cannot be willingly ignorant and hope we will not be held accountable. Simply not knowing something because of being unlearned it is one thing, but refusing to learn is another issue.
A fool is one who refuses to know the truth, or refuses to receive correction. How many of us would have made different decisions in some point in life, if we had known the full picture or had better counsel? How many of us made poor decisions because we refused anyone else’s’ opinion? How many of us wound up in bad situations because we did not ask God is His perfect will in the matter? There are instances in Scripture where those who refused the truth, put themselves in peril. We can find one such instance in 1Kings 22:1-40, where Ahab, the king of Israel, rejected the Word of God that came through a true prophet. Because he refused to hear the prophet’s words, he met his demise on the battlefield. If one reads about the life of Ahab, one would find that he led a life of insisting on his own way, which led to self-deception and ultimate destruction. The fortunate thing is that God gives all of us room for repentance. Repentance begins with humility, and humility enables us to receive wisdom that comes from God.