The book, Leadership and Self-Deception, is published by the Arbinger Institute. It is “a relatable story about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family, …[It] exposes the fascinating ways we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts at success and happiness” (Arbinger Institute). The book is insightful and helpful in dealing with leadership challenges; well worth the read.
Leadership and Self-Deception is not a Christian book, although it certainly does hint at the truth of 1 John 1:8-10
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. [ESV]
These words lead us from lament to confession. Lament is important. It is an essential first step to dealing with the challenges of living in a fallen world. But if we only lament we forfeit a fuller experience of God’s goodness, and a greater encounter with true joy. Lament paves the way to confession, which opens the gates of our hearts to God’s grace. God’s grace makes all the difference.
God knows our frame. He knows that we are but dust. He knows all about our fallen nature, our peccadillos, and our wayward and erring ways. We only deceive ourselves when we try to hide our sinful brokenness from him. We cannot pull the wool over his eyes. He knows and loves us even in our brokenness; or perhaps I should say especially in our brokenness.
Some people say we deserve to be loved. I’m not ready to say that. But I do say that we are truly loved – whether or not we deserve it. God loves us. The real us. The broken us. The fallen us. The wayward, rebelling, erring, and sinning us. He loves us so much that he fights for our hearts. He loves us enough to give us his Holy Spirit to transform us. He loves us enough to free us from the old trap of self-deception to a new and free experience of life beyond lament.
Several years ago I was talking with my sister about her marriage. I told her, “We have a great marriage.” Only later did I learn that Diane happened to hear me say that and instantly had a gut reaction. It sure doesn’t feel all that great to me, she thought. All this I learned sometime later. It proved to be a catalyst for some intentional, focused, and sometimes-challenging marriage work.
We will take a look at that and more tomorrow.