How much do we, as believers in Christ, also choose to live in realities of our own minds that have deluded us to what really is the truth?
In Proverbs 23:7 it says; " For as he thinks within himself, so he is." The word for think in this passage is Sha ar in Hebrew, and it means to open, to act as a gate. A place of controlled access to the city.
When we don't watch the gate (our thinking), we can allow all sorts of things into our being and that has the ability to effect our actions. Once we begin a pattern of acting, it becomes ingrained in us and difficult to change. Therefore, it is really important we guard the gates and think in line with Truth.
An example from my own life reflecting this is being a woman called to leadership in a man's world these last 25 years. Men in leadership positions have many kinds of responses to me.
Hostility, indifference, limited acceptance, awkwardness, suspicion. With a very few; but more and more in recent years, encouragement and affirmation. (Praise God!) Of all these responses, suspicion always seemed to have the most affect on me.
There was a teaching that went through much of the church years ago regarding the "Jezebel Spirit". Of course, it was taught as a spirit within a woman that wanted to control men and basically take over. This was a woman that could, and would, seduce a man into sin. Any woman with assertiveness and confidence, was suspect and watched carefully. I felt watched a lot. Couple that with their indifference, awkwardness and limited acceptance, and you had a powerful force to affect my thinking. It didn't take long for me to think and act in line with the belief that most men in leadership saw me this way and I began to misjudge and misinterpret as a result. A man with whom I had recently come into fellowship with, was one such misinterpretation of the truth. In our interactions, which had been very limited, I had made the assumption that he was suspicious of me. I limited my contact with him and felt the hurt of misjudgment. It was me however, who had misjudged. I called him at one point, confessed what I thought he was thinking in regards to me and realized through our discussion that I was wrong. My own experiences, wounds and assumptions had incorrectly determined what I believed to be truth. I had a faulty gate and had fallen into self delusion.
Watching the American Idol tryouts remind me to take a look at areas in my own life that I'm living in self delusion and faulty thinking. Areas that I may be convinced of their validity, but convinced in error and thereby causing my actions to reflect that error.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect". Romans 12:2