Have you ever been invited to a costume party? Or a masquerade ball? When you live in a fallen world, you receive the ultimate invitation each and every day.
Temptation does its best work in a costume. Evil masquerades as anything but evil. The fact that sin looks so good is one of the things that make it so bad.
This reality requires us to live with sober minds and watchful eyes. The devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). Sometimes the attacks will be explicit, but many times they will be disguised.
Not all deceit comes from the outside, however. On the contrary, we must confess that we are very committed and gifted selfswindlers.
We’re all too skilled at looking at our own wrong and seeing good. We’re all much better at seeing the sin, weakness, and failure of others than we are our own. We’re all very good at being intolerant of others of the very things that we willingly tolerate in ourselves.
Here are a few examples, and there are many more:
- Impatient yelling wears the costume of a zeal for truth.
- Lust can masquerade as a love for beauty.
- Gossip does its evil work by living in the costume of concern and prayer.
- Craving for power and control wears the mask of biblical leadership.
- Fear of man gets dressed up as a servant heart.
- The pride of always being right masquerades as a love for biblical wisdom.
The bottom line is that sin causes us not to hear or see ourselves with accuracy. And we not only tend to be blind, but to compound matters, we also tend to be blind to our blindness!
But don’t be discouraged - we’re not left without hope. There’s a better invitation that awaits.
In the mirror of God’s Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and in the body of Christ, we’re invited to step into the light of honesty and see ourselves as we actually are.
These moments of accurate self-assessment will be painful. Who wants to accept an invitation to see their mistakes on display, hear about their shortcomings in detail, and feel the guilt that accompanies their sin?
When you’re experiencing conviction and rebuke, from God or from others, you may not feel as if you’re are being loved but that’s exactly what is happening.
God, who loves you enough to sacrifice his Son for your redemption, is working so that you would see yourself clearly, so that you would not buy into the delusion of your own righteousness, and so that with a humble sense of personal need you would seek the resources of grace that can only be found in him.
Today, let’s reject the fallen world’s invitation to a costume party and instead accept the Lord’s invitation to receive abundant, convicting, forgiving, and transforming grace!
Paul David Tripp
- How has the enemy recently tried to trap you by tempting you with something evil masquerading as something beautiful?
- How have you recently tried to swindle yourself (and others) by dressing up your sin as something different than sin?
- When was the last time you felt conviction from God's Word, his Spirit, or the body of Christ? Did you initially resist the assessment? Why?
- Where can you invest in relationships so that God may use you as a tool of accurate self-assessment in the lives of others? How can you ensure you do so in a way that’s loving and gracious?