TRUTHS ABOUT DECEPTION

Whenever I make any new friends especially female ones my Di (elder sister) asks a bulk of questions about them. Though it’s good for me,  I often get irritated about it. Once I said, ‘Don’t try to put your nose into my issues, mind your own business. And why should you know everything about my friends!’ I can never forget her lovely reply, ‘you’re too sensitive about relationship and in this particular matter you use your heart more than your brain’.

The word ‘Deception’ always reminds me of one the incidents of my life.

Then I was a university student, barely in my early 20s. Being an extrovert, I had lots of friends. Within a very short span, my friendship with one of my friends went little more intimate. We started sharing best of our times and lives and trusted one another. After a couple of years of our friendship, my friend’s behavior always hinted me negatively but every time I avoided it correcting myself: ‘doubt always kills friendship and I should not allow it in’. In between my dear friend took a new Videocon smart phone with voice modulation feature. After some days, when I saw my friend is avoiding my phone calls, I questioned – “hey, what happened why have you stopped responding to my phone calls and the reply I got was, ‘actually, my cousin sister is using my phone and is always busy talking to her fiancé’. Many times I had phone conversations with my friend’s cousin sister. Almost after 8 months and because of some unexpected personal issues we had to break our friendship. The next day I came to know from my friend’s parents that ‘there is no one as the cousin sister in the family!!’ It was my friend who took advantage of the voice modulation technology and was misleading me! All our friends felt very bad about it as we simply believed the lies and fabricated stories of our dear friend.

“DECEPTION” is ‘an instance of actions and/or schemes fabricated to mislead someone into believing a lie or inaccuracy’.

C. Ryle says, “What would you expect? Sin will not come to you, saying, “I am sin.” It would do little harm if it did. Sin always seems “good, and pleasant, and desirable,” at the time of commission.”

Yes that’s very true, that’s what deception is all about! Deception allures us presenting itself in its most attractive form with all kinds of fabricated stories and well organized schemes to believe a lie. Wise King Solomon says in the Bible, For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.”

Pamela Christian says, “Unless we examine what we believe and why we believe it, we can easily be deceived and not know it.”

Deception needs introspection. God always prompts us in many ways when we are being deceived. He speaks to our conscience ‘something is going wrong’, so it’s better to pause and introspect the whole matter rather than being emotion-bounded.

“This life’s dim windows of the soul,
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole.
And goads you to believe a lie,
When you see with, and not through the eye.”

(William Blake)

We are meant to see through the eye, with the conscience, not devoid of conscience.

Couple months back, I and a few of my friends heard about the present condition of our same friend who once deceived us. Now we all feel sorry about our friend but each of us are helpless to help our friend. The hound of deception which our friend once embraced has deceived her back. Deception deceives back the same person who deceived once.

Deception always DECEIVES back!

TAKE OFF THOSE ROSE GLASSES….

*Fiction with truth touching our lives

Hello Everyone,

Before going into the story I want to mention two things that were repeatedly tossing up in my mind for past two days as I was preparing to write for this week:

  • An old song :Duniya mein kitna gum hain, mera gum kitna kam hai” which translates to ‘there is so much grief in the world mine is nothing compared to it.’
  • Take off those rose glasses when you see the world, stop using magnifying glasses when you look at your own life.

Now going into the story:

I was reading the newspaper and hurried through all the headlines so as to hand it over to my brother who stood there staring at me sipping his coffee as if saying, “delay it by one more minute and you will have it from me”.  I gave the paper to him but kept the entertainment supplement with me to read it at leisure.  After being done with the day I decided to let my hair down with my favourite read “Entertainment News”.   As I was turning the pages I found an advertisement featuring my favourite actress. Oh! I simply couldn’t take my eyes off her, she looked mesmerizing.  After a few seconds of trance I resumed reading, rather noticing the advertisement.  It read “Live My Life For Seven Days“.  It was a contest wherein the contestants are supposed to fill in a caption and send their entries. Among all the entries only the best three were to be selected and would be given a chance to meet the superstar.  And one among those three will get a chance to live the life of a superstar that too for one entire week. “What luck!” I thought to myself.  “Why can’t that luck be yours?” my heart questioned me and made me pick up a pen, put my brain to exercise and at last I scribbled a caption which was nothing but my feelings decorated with words. Then I slipped into deep slumber with head full of imagination and eyes crowded with dreams. I could see myself there surrounded with nothing but beauty and ecstasy. Big brands running after me, I was adorned with the most fashionable clothes that enhanced my beauty, I was the talk of the town – many adoring me, many more jealous of me,  but I was there to stay.  Oh what a dream it was! About a month of posting the caption I got the news that I was among the best three, in fact I was better than the best and I would get a chance to live my dream now. My excitement knew no bounds. What else I could ask God for?

Soon the D-day arrived and my journey to the La-La land begun. It seemed all glossy at first glance. But soon I discovered that only the surface is made to look beautiful but underneath it, it’s all hollow.  Soon I had lost my freedom – freedom to move about freely lest paparazzi would follow me; freedom to eat whatever I wanted to eat to heart’s content lest I will put on those extra pounds and won’t fit into my branded wear; freedom to talk freely lest I would be misinterpreted, misquoted and misrepresented for the TRP business.  There were tabs all around and on everything. And the worst thing was that I was reduced to a mere “product” that comes with a shelf life.  My brain, my heart, my emotions had no place and never mattered.  It was all about “Face” and “Show”.  ‘Is this the life of a superstar?’,  I questioned and felt cheated.

At the end of the seventh day when I shed those high-end fashionable wear and came back to my common “street” fashion I heaved a sigh of relief.  I had realized one thing perhaps the most important lesson of my life:

  • When we look at others’ lives we choose to see only the seemingly beautiful and better aspects. We don’t get into the skin of matters like their hardships and their efforts. We are only concerned about the sweet lies and beautiful images but the bitter truth always scares us away.
  • Not only do we constantly keep an eye on how’s life shaping up when it comes to others be it our neighbors, friends or relatives but also we end up giving a royal ignore to the good things we have been blessed with – A loving family, supporting friends, health, a comfortable shelter over head, freedom to do petty things that give happiness in true sense and literally many more things that are intangible.
  • If comparison has to be the essence of life then it must be drawn with less fortunate ones as it could prompt us to thank God before we curse it .
  • Happiness is not in a highly priced product but a valuable one.  For example, a dinner plate priced worth thousands might not give the same happiness as a loaf of bread when you are hungry.  Hope the difference is clear!

At the end of the story I would like to say one thing, as humans we have a tendency of living in deception that whatever others have must be better as compared to our possessions.  We don a constant pair of rose glasses through which we fail to see the blistering heat that is panning lives. Meanwhile we have this constant frown 😞 on our faces when it comes to analyse our lives.  Never happy because the happiness is too small compared to our problems which according to us are bigger  than what anyone else have and here to stay forever for we are the most unfortunate, isn’t it?

Think about it and if possible ‘Take Off Those Rose Glasses’.

 

A HEART THAT DEVISES WICKED SCHEMES

They were eight youths in all. Five of them were known to the family. So, they could gain easy access into the house. First three of them rang the doorbell of their friend’s house. His unsuspecting wife welcomed them in. They sat chatting over cups of tea as they waited for her husband to reach home from work. On arrival, he was a bit surprised though not alarmed, to see them. As he joined his friends, his wife went in to prepare snacks for the group. Then the doorbell rang again. This time two more friends joined them. Within minutes the five overpowered the man and strangulated him. Next, they stabbed his wife to death in the kitchen. They were not done with it. They then smothered the couple’s two children in the other room. Within hours, a family was wiped away. And, mind you it was not an act done in the heat of the moment. It was a well-schemed act. While the five were executing their plan of action, three others kept a watch outside the building.

This is a true incident that is just a few months old. There are many such devastations that happen each minute on the face of the earth. Most of them are pre-planned and well devised acts aimed to cause harm to others.

God Almighty gifted human beings with a pure heart and created them in His own image. Above all, He has put eternity in our hearts. Instead of having the quest for eternal happiness and riches, we often choose to fill our hearts with hatred, anger, jealousy, pride and malice. Consequently, our hearts begin to nurture these seeds and reap the fruits of destruction. A deceitful heart is first deceitful to self and then to others around.

A heart that is true to self will hold others in esteem and not plot evil against others. It’s a wise heart that meditates on the precepts of truth, peace and love and sows the seeds of harmony and goodness all around.

DON’T WE SCHEME EVERYDAY?

(Picture Source is HERE )

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

Human heart is the most complicated of all. If we see the world today we find how wicked a human heart can be. Have you ever watched “Crime Patrol?” If you have watched it ever you could imagine how a human heart can scheme! The extent of which is unimaginable. 

Just think about our own self. How much we pretend? We pretend to be good… We pretend to be kind… We pretend to be caring for somebody whom we don’t even want to see… We pretend to be ‘not at home’ when we are…

Pretending something which we are not is horrible when it is found out. Whether in small scale or big we pretend and we scheme everyday. Whether it is in our home or at work place.

We will talk about our heart more throughout this week in the remaining days to come.

Keep reading and keep commenting…

Stay Blessed!

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

An ancient proverb says, “Guard the heart with all diligence for out of it proceed the issues of life”, meaning, the things you say and do reflect deeper, important life issues. A wise teacher from the Middle East once reiterated this in a different way, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” This same teacher said later concerning food and activities that people considered ‘unclean’, “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then is eliminated? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’ but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean'”. This means that whatever we say reflects the uncleanness of our hearts and these ‘harmless’ words are ultimately what make us (or reveal us as) ‘clean’ or ‘unclean.’ Teachings like these sober me up very quickly. What this means, ultimately, is that I only have myself to blame for the condition of my heart and that I must own my actions and words and blame them on no one else but myself. This is what was meant by “give an account”. Stephen R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People wrote similarly, “If you start to think that the problem is ‘out there,’ stop yourself. That thought is the problem” [emphasis mine]. He also states that until we realize that our lives’ are a product of our own decisions (and no one else’s), we will be unable to choose otherwise for ourselves. If we are reaping negative consequences in our life, it is best to consult the soil of our behavior (our heart) and not blame the sun, thorns, or water around us (our conditions).

What is even more shocking to me is a quote that talks about how our heart is constantly deceiving us. In a pivotal time that preceded seventy years of slavery in the foreign land, Babylon, a leader and teacher of the people of Israel, very wisely warned his people concerning their hearts and the trouble they were being led into,”The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” ‘To deceive’ means ‘to deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain.’ This means that not only is your heart convincing you of something that isn’t true, it is doing it for personal gain (fame, self-honor, impure pleasures, etc.) This frightens me because the problem with this kind of self-deception is that the source is YOU (or rather, your heart), which makes the deception nearly inescapable. Not to mention, if even *I* don’t understand my own heart…then who does?? Ultimately, if what we are believing isn’t true, then we are living in a fantasy world. We are like the fanatic that dresses up in a superhero costume and jumps off a high-rise while echoing the popular song, “I believe I can fly!” It doesn’t matter how firmly our hearts have deceived us into believing something if it isn’t true. If I stand out in the middle of a busy lane, blind-folded and yell defiantly, “I don’t believe in traffic!” What’s going to happen? Can you visualize it? It would be an ugly and tragic sight. I’d like to think that I’d have some loved ones around me to shake me from my delusion.

This brings me to my next point. If we are the source of our own self-deception, how can we possibly escape it? I’d like to propose 4 solutions: One, surround yourself with friends who will tell you the truth even when it smarts a bit. Another favorite proverb of mine is “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” If the people around you are constantly numbing you and themselves to life’s difficult questions and trials with meaningless activities and praises, then I recommend you find a group of friends who will challenge you to grow as a person both in character and deed (as the two are inseparable). Two, find a way to process out the things that you are dealing with. Whether that is journaling, praying, or counseling with a trusted friend, sometimes you just need a “sounding board” to figure out what’s real and concrete in your life (But…a word of warning, be mindful, your friends are susceptible as well). The pause-inducing fact of universal self-deception brings me to my third tip, whole-heartedly search for the truth of a matter, no matter what it is. If you dedicate your life to pursuing truth no matter where it leads you, then your path will be sure and your feet will not slip. Do not assume that you already have the truth because you may only have part or have been unwittingly convinced of an untruth somewhere in your past.  I primarily cultivate this by being a continual open-minded learner and listener (but not so open-minded that my brain falls out). If I maintain a teachable heart and ask myself, “Is there truth here? Is there something new that I can learn from this person/idea?” then I believe I’m well on my way to escaping the deceit of my own heart. After all, it is only revealed input from the outside that will help me align my heart with the truth in the innermost part of my being. [While I’m on the subject, a warning to those of you who have everything “figured out” (although if you’re reading this I suspect that may not be the case): if you are not “teachable” you will never grow and will remain the same person your entire life; unable to be corrected, you will be unable to be encouraged; unable to be a learner, you will never have anything of substance to offer anyone else. In short, be teachable or stay where you are until your sojourn here expires. I say this harshly that I might “wound” some of you into life and healing].

In summary, in order to fight the natural self-deception of our hearts you must:

  1. Surround yourself with loved ones who will challenge you to grow (even if it hurts a little)
  2. Live a life of self-reflection and “analysis” through things like prayer, journaling, and wise counsel
  3. Don’t let truth escape you. Bind it around your neck and write it on your heart. Search for it like you would hidden treasure. If you don’t find it as you search, it will more than likely find you.

I sincerely hope that whatever wisdom I have to offer has shone through and helps guide you along your path and that whatever is not true would fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Thanks for reading and I pray you found something to carry with you and that if it helped, you’ll share it with a friend.