Counterfeits Of The Heart
February 1, 2011
Read: Jeremiah 17:5-11
The heart is deceitful above all things. —Jeremiah 17:9
True stories about deceit and deception can sound stranger than fiction. According to an AP news item, a Georgia woman was arrested after trying to pay for more than $1,500 in purchases with a million-dollar counterfeit bill. When questioned, the embarrassed patron claimed to have been misled, saying that the fake money had been given to her by her ex-husband, who was a coin collector.
The size of the bill makes us question whether anyone could really have been misled into thinking it was real. But maybe that makes it a good illustration of the almost unbelievable problem of self-deception that the prophet warns us about. When Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (17:9 ESV), he expresses a sense of amazement that is beyond our ability to grasp. Here the prophet is not saying that some of us have a problem being honest with ourselves; he is claiming that everyone does.
Thankfully, God searches our hearts and understands what we cannot see (v.10). He gives us every reason to say, “Lord, we need Your help. Please show us whether we are being honest with ourselves and You. If we aren’t, help us to change and rely on You rather than on ourselves.”
Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. —Orr
The only way to survive in a world of deception is by trusting the One who will never deceive us.