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The Deception of Self Exultation

Obadiah 1:3“The pride of your heart has deceived you.”

Too often, the foolishness of a poor decision by an arrogant person is not fully known until disaster has struck.  Consider the Titanic tragedy and the quote of Bruce Ismay in placing more value on the appearance of the Titanic than on the safety of the passengers and crew…. “Your uncle here tells me you proposed 64 lifeboats and he had to pull your arm to get you down to 32. Now, I will remind you just as I reminded him–these are my ships. And, according to our contract, I have final say on the design. I’ll not have so many little boats as you call them, cluttering up my decks and putting fear into the passengers.”  –J. Bruce Ismay, Director of the White Star Line. (Coped).

Self-delusion causes a person to believe that they are impeccable and flawless in their decisions and actions.  For those who are “self” absorbed and assured, the confidence in which they live has no fear of ever being in error.  The frustration of the “Elite” and “Perfect” is that the rest of us cannot see how deficient we really are and correct it.

A noted pastor took the time to list some of our self-deceptions:

Others have prejudices, but we have convictions.

Others are conceited, but in me it’s self-respect.

When you spend time on your personal appearance, it’s vanity;

         in me, it’s just making the most of my God-given assets.

In you, it’s touchiness; but in me, it’s sensitivity.

In you, it’s worry; in me, concern.”  (Copied).

Sometimes self-deception can be caused by our lack of knowledge.  That deficiency can result in us casting aside ideas, principles, people, and advice.  Because they do not fit in our present grid of understanding or experience, we have no use of them in our sphere of activity.  For example, most of us in this generation have never had to go to well to get water. But, if we had, we might have known this illustration about a well bucket.

I heard someone give an illustration once about a wooden well bucket he came upon. He thought it was useless at first, because it had been sitting next to a barn in the sun, unused for a long time. He could see daylight between the wooden slats of the bucket. Certainly, this thing would never hold water again.

But an older man with him tied the bucket to the well rope and let it drop into the water below. In a couple of days, they came back and turned the crank to draw the bucket back up. It was full of clear, cool well water and was not leaking a drop.   The water had re-hydrated the wooden slats until they fit together as originally designed, and the bucket was useful again. (Copied).