Altogether, seven times in the Scriptures we are commanded not to deceive ourselves. Being deceived by others can be taken as a matter that can be to the ‘advantage’ of the deceiver. But when one is deceiving himself, it can be said to be a most pitiable situation. Consider the following cases:
1. 1Corinthians 3:18 (GW) says: “Don't deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise in the ways of this world, you should give up that wisdom in order to become really wise.”
Real wisdom is to accept God’s Word and be obedient to it. Every thought that contradicts the above statement is worldly and foolish.
2. 1Corinthians 6:9-10 (GW) says: “Don't you know that wicked people won't inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves! People who continue to commit sexual sins, who worship false gods, those who commit adultery, homosexuals, or thieves, those who are greedy or drunk, who use abusive language, or who rob people will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Isn’t it obvious that those belonging to the above list will be disappointed if they think they will make it to heaven?
3. Galatians 6:3 (KJV) says: “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Do not think too great or too low about yourself. Think according to the gift (calling) the Lord has given you.
4. Galatians 6:7 (GNB) says: “Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant.” This is a universal principle. If you want your tomorrow to be good, be careful in what you sow today. Also, what you sow in secret is what you will reap publicly (Matthew 6:4, 6 &18).
5. James 1:22 (GNB) says: “Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice.” Devil does not mind if you listen to God’s Word as long as you do not practice it.
6. James 1:26 (GNB) says: “Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself.” The Scripture says a self-controlled man is the one who has his tongue in control. Please understand that the Lord hates complaining and murmuring (Numbers 11:1). A saying goes like this: “When flatterers meet, the devil goes to dinner.”
7. 1John 1:8 (KJV) says: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” If we say that we have no sin, we will be adding one more sin to our list.