Fooling Ourselves

1 John 1:1
We are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in
spiritual darkness (v.6).

Last year, a bizarre TV game show began airing
in France. Contestants were given questions and
all went well if they answered correctly. But a
wrong answer proved to be deadly. For the erring
contestants were then commanded to throw a switch
that appeared to force another contestant—strapped
in the “hot seat”—to endure a lethal 420 volts of
electricity. This death “game” was meant to show the
manipulative power of authority, but for the contestants
who thought they were electrocuting someone (the “hot
seat” contestant was actually an actor feigning getting
zapped), it was all too real.

It definitely wouldn’t be fun to be fooled on this
foolish show! But sometimes you and I might actually
be found “fooling ourselves” (1 John 1:8). The apostle
John put it this way, “We are lying if we say we
have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual
darkness; . . . not practicing the truth” (v.6). His point
is clear: Following any religious instruction or living
in any way that is contrary to Jesus’ teachings shows
that we’ve embraced spiritual darkness. We’re fooling
ourselves and “lying” to God (v.6).

Here are some common ways we sinfully select
darkness instead of God’s light:
• Choosing fellowship with the world over fellowship
with God out of selfishness and sinful pride.
• Living a legalistic life that places erroneous traditions above God’s truth.
• Trying to hide our sins instead of confessing them to God.

All of these things point to a heart issue. For us to move back into the light of
Jesus will require true repentance—turning away from sin-seeking people and
things that ensnare us, confessing our sin to God, and walking in His light (v.9).
Are we ready? It’s time to stop fooling ourselves.

—Tom Felten

As you read John 8:12, consider what it looks like to truly “follow” Jesus.

How have you been dabbling in the darkness of this world? What
will you do this week to begin walking in the light of Jesus?