This introductory chapter discusses deception- the origins of deception and the deception we fall prey to today. The author talks about the strategy of deception that Satan uses- He first approached the woman, she writes, so we as women are particularly prone to fall prey to Satan's deception (1 Tim. 2:14). Sometimes, she says, Satan himself deceives us as in the Garden of Eden, and sometimes he uses other instruments such as leaders to deceive us.
I loved this quote:
Walk into almost any Christian bookstore, leaf through many Christian periodicals, tune in to many religious radio and television broadcasts, listen to many popular Christian mental health professionals, and you will find respected "Christians" who are deceiving their followers. .... Their teachings help people justify anger ("healthy expression of your true feelings"); selfishness ("You've got to place boundaries between you and demanding people"); irresponsibility ("You are dysfunctional because you have been deeply wounded by others"); and infidelity ("You are free to divorce your mate and marry someone else; God is the God of the second chance").
Sadly, most people-even Christians- have unthinkingly exposed themselves to so much deception that they do not even realize they are being deceived. That is the very nature of deception- it blinds us to the fact that we have been deceived.
She then outlines the progression from deception to bondage:
1. Listen to a lie- Eve fell prey to Satan because she listened to him. She dwelt on his words and engaged in conversation with him about the lie.
I think this is one area we don't focus on enough- we are constantly confronted with lies about ourselves and our culture. For instance, the idea that women are supposed to "do" something- whether it be have a career or a great ministry of some kind other than their families is promoted even among Christians. Being a wife and mother is said to be just another role we take on, and it should not be the only thing we do in this life. I was told just the other day by a Christian friend that women were not created to be helpmeets to their husbands, that God intends something much greater than that for women's lives.
I loved this statement DeMoss made- "The world's deceptive way of thinking comes to us through so many avenues- television, magazines, movies, music, friends, malls, and catalogs to name a few. A steady diet of these worldly influences will shape our view of what is valuable, what is beautiful, and what is important in life."
If we are around "Christian" friends who believe and live these lies, and we soak up our time with worldly media, we are placing ourselves in very dangerous territory. When we listen to the lies, especially from those we consider trustworthy people and sources, we are setting ourselves up for the next step in the progression: believing the lie.
2. Believe the lie. After listening and discussing them, Eve believed the lies Satan told her, which lead to the next step: acting on the lie.
3. Act on the lie. "Beliefs produce behavior...What we believe will be seen in how we live." Eve believed the fruit would give her knowledge, so she acted on her belief and took a bite.
I thought this statement was so profound:
"Every area of bondage in our lives can be traced back to a lie." I know in my own life, when I am obsessed with something like being the perfect size or weight or look, I am in bondage, and it can be traced back to the lie that "I am not perfect the way God made me."
DeMoss then lets us in on how we can move from bondage to freedom:
1. Identify the areas of bondage or sinful behavior.
2. Identify the lies at the root of that bondage or behavior.
3. Replace the lie(s) with the Truth (of God's Word).
This chapter essentially set up the next section in the book. She covers in future chapters the lies that women believe about God, themselves, sin, priorities, marriage, children, emotions, and circumstances, and the verses in God's Word that shed truth on these pervasive lies.
Stay tuned for the next installment in the review of Lies Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.