May 12, 2010

The Depth of Deception

Deception can be a wicked thing. The Bible speaks of deception in a number of ways, but mostly it is associated with Satan and with his attempts at luring believers away from the truth of God's Word. I have been deceived myself at times, and it is an awful feeling, especially if the deception comes by the hand of a friend or family member. Merriam-Webster defines deception as "the act of being deceived (or tricked)." The verb "deceive" or "to deceive" comes from the Latin (decipere) de + capere = to take. Literally it means to "cause to accept as true what is false." In short, being deceived means that we have taken some word or deed as truth when it is indeed fake or false.

I read an interesting blog post this morning about deception and addictive behavior. If you have ever dealt with or known some one who is addicted, then you surely have experienced deception first hand. Addicts deceive themselves mostly, but also others. They do this to protect their addiction from the truth of it's pernicious and willful behavior -- the downfall of the addiction and the death of the addict. They ensnare others, often captivating them with lies, to enable support (called co-dependency in psychology circles) for their addictive behavior. Often the co-dependent remains in the relationship because they are addictive as well and need the on-going affirmation of the addict. It is a symbiotic relationship, whereby host and parasite (in biological terms) feed off one another.

Deception in addiction can lead to total surrender by the addict. The addict can become enslaved and ensnared to the point where they are completely deceived and believe that they are the only one's living in reality (or their perceived reality). Everyone else is out of step and time, everyone else is wrong, everyone else doesn't understand. They are the center of their own universe, their own god. It is difficult to break through such deception, and only the power of the Word of God can cause the scales of deceit to fall.

I happen to be in such a relationship. I have blogged tenuously about my marital crisis, trying to avoid direct accusation, and hoping to simply use my writing as an outlet for my emotional healing. It is a difficult road to follow, to try and walk gently through dark alley ways. Yet, this deception is so deep and so unwilling to fall away, that I have no other choice but to acknowledge it and let the Word of God shine on it. Jesus said that "with God all things are possible," and this is true. No one can break the cycle of addiction but Jesus, and it is through the cross and the blood that freedom comes. The addict must choose to be released, and to find that release in the Grace and Forgiveness of a Loving Savior.

My prayer today is for the addict in my life to find this freedom. I can no longer support his behavior, and I understand how deceived he really is (sadly so). I must stand firm, but with Grace, know that God is able to save him from the despicable and destructive nature of his addiction.


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