(November 22, 2015)
Self-deception is a painful thing to confront. Perhaps worst of all, it makes us doubt everything that we tell ourselves when we are forced to confront our self-deception. It leaves us in such confusion as to whether we are truly who we think we are, or whether we are once again lying to ourselves. It leaves us at risk of those who, knowing of our past mistakes, would profit off of those mistakes by condemning us for their own personal gain. Or, on the other side of the ledger, it leaves us at risk for failing to recognize our true mistakes and properly repenting of them when we should.
But here we have a key to help us to understand when we are being self-deceptive. If, when truth is testified to us, we find ourselves angry at it, then we know we are lying to ourselves. If we are told to repent, and we instead become angry (who are they to tell me I have to repent?!?), we are lying to ourselves. If we are told to forgive, and we instead become angry, (but he doesn’t know what such-and-such did to me!), we are lying to ourselves. And, I dare say, if we are instructed to hold close to the Brethren and follow them, and we instead become angry (but they are just out of touch!), we are lying to ourselves.
Anger (particularly anger at the truth) is a potent was we have of determining when we have placed ourselves in a position of spiritual jeopardy.