Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

Lost In A House Of Mirrors Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 7, 2021 1:00 am

Lost In A House Of Mirrors Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand NEW!

This broadcaster has 831 show archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 7, 2021 1:00 am

Many ask why seemingly good people turn bad. How can someone turn violent after a lifetime of apparent normalcy? The answer lies in understanding our fundamental human nature. It’s not easy, but it is possible, if you’re willing to face the truth.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

COVERED TOPICS / TAGS (Click to Search)
Dr Erwin W Lutzer Lutzer Pastor Lutzer Christianity gospel sermons running
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
In Touch
Charles Stanley
Zach Gleb Show
Zach Gleb

Marie Torres Jesus phone number for many asked why seemingly good people turn their how can someone turn my will to a lifetime parent saying the answer lies in understanding our fundamental human nature.

It's not easy, but if you're willing to face the truth of the church in Chicago this is Sir teaching helps us make it across the finish line after loser tell us about the series that begins today why good people do bad things, you know, Dave. I've always had an interesting human nature is very interesting to look into the depths of your soul and realize that you're staring into a part of you that can do very good things, but also is capable of very bad things and so what I do in this series is take a deep dive into human nature, but we don't stop there.

What we do is is look at the biblical answer to our need and what a blessing it is to know that God understands. As he knows us and so with that beginning, let's go to the pulpit of Moody church and discuss the question why good people do bad things. Only God knows who I really am and make a graciously preserved may finding out those are actually the words of Johan von scholar of the German and like good knew that self-discovery is very painful. That's why he preferred God alone kept his information and preserved him from finding out what got you didn't realize is that if he had been willing to go through that self-examination if he had been willing indeed to go through that painful self-discovery. Maybe his life would've been more fulfilling, and of course he could not have done it without confronting God self perception lies at the root to the very core of who we are in the way we behave give a four-year-old boy a cowboy hat and he will ride every piece of furniture in the house get a little girl a doll and she will act like a mother.

Marilyn Monroe grew up in a series of homes a series of foster homes and it was not love. She felt on lovable and because she felt that way. She decided to reach out for love in all the ways that she possibly could and ended up as others have finding out that it was the wrong way to pursue love and she died with an overdose or it's like the woman who said to me, my dad told me I was trash so I lived out his words and his prophecy.

Self perception determines the way we behave. If that's true then of course we have to ask the question what about self perception. How do we go about discovering who we really are. And even though it's painful what is the end result and actually while were talking about it why this disconnect at times between the image that we portray outwardly and the people that we really are privately well as many of you know this is the beginning in a series of messages titled why good people do bad things, and of course were going to have to talk about issues such as shame and anger and desires and all of those things so that we better understand ourselves and why you and I could do some very bad thing. In effect, what were going to do is to take a spotlight and to shine at on the human heart and much of what we uncover is going to be very uncomfortable, but the good news is where on this journey together. I need to tell you it's uncomfortable for me to but were going to look into the human heart, but were also going to see the wonder of God's grace and his answer to our most hidden deceitful ways. Many years ago I was in a county fair and I walked into what was called a fun house. It was really the house of mirrors.

Very interesting. You probably been there. You look at one there.

I remember I was tall and the skinny look at another near and I was so I had a very very big head wraps up unrepresented reality, but a very big head and a very small torso and then you walk into another room in the opposite is true. By the time you go through a house of mirrors what you're really looking for is a flat mirror to remind yourself of who you really are.

Now imagine this. There are many people who go around in life and are spending their whole life trying to find a mirror so that they might know who they really are so that they may have some sense of identity, but there's no way for them to be able to find it because they have not looked into the right error. Now, of course, when we speak of mirrors who is the first mirror that we have that reflects back to us who we are is of course our parents.

If you grew up in a healthy home where you were given the two things that a child needs for a good sense of identity, namely, love and respect you have a much better chance of being able to take those values and putting them into your marriage. You have a much better chance of being a holistic person in the right answer.

The word being able to cope with life having a good sense of who you are in a good self-concept of the problem with such people, by the way is usually make good marriage partners, but they overestimate their own sense of wholeness and goodness and and sometimes they don't have a heart for God because in their mind. It's a warped view but in their mind they really don't need him that badly.

Have you brought up in a abusive home talking about alcoholism and death were you were under constant work.

Shame was a part of your existence. If you were brought up in a home like that you're going to struggle a whole lot more about who you are and you might end up with what I called the big three.

Shame, anger and self-condemnation.

Recently I read about a father who said to his son in anger. You're nothing more than the product of a one night fling, you think about that. What the father wanted to do is to destroy that boy to destroy him. It is very core, you know, if you were to take a gun and shoot him there'd be certain social consequences, but because the boy is still living physically wanted to destroy him spiritually to destroy him at the core of his existence and think of those words that that boy will take into the rest of his life determining trying to find out who he is. So we have our parents enormous impact so impactful in fact that one of the messages I preach in the series is a on the role of the father because your father shakes you in ways that you may not know anything about and so that's going to be a message in the series but then of course we have teachers and we have others if your brought up in a bad home like Dorie Van Stone, abused, and the like in orphanages. She tells how she used to go to a certain drugstore because there was a kind man there who used to let her have a malt without paying for it and he is to talk to her in a cheery helpful way.

She never forgot it. She still talks about it. I wonder by the way, how many children we sometimes walk by and they are hurting and were not perceptive enough to recognize it. So here's a little window of hope that my home is abusive. But maybe out there somewhere. Somewhere there might be some kindness and there might be some love well then we have our parents, we have our teachers. We have other people if you're married, that your partner will certainly help you in your sense of self perception and on we could go but a problem develops. And that problem is.

Pretty soon we, as children we were growing up, discovered something, namely that I we can be one person on the outside and this someone else on the inside, and when we discover that we could be on our journey to deep deception. I'll never forget when I discovered it.

I was about 10 or 12 years old and I had the responsibility of feeding the chickens out on the farm at 5 o'clock every afternoon because I had nothing to do all day to do it in and nobody to help me. I was fully responsible being the last born, I had so much time on my hands.

It was just unbelievable. My brothers and sisters had to work and I just got by with all kinds of things side no excuse. I walked into the garage. One day, at about 530 and my father said, did you need the chickens.

I didn't want to incur his displeasure and I felt somewhat embarrassed so I said yes yes I did 10 minutes later I left the garage and when tendo did what I was supposed to have done half an hour before and I remember distinctly saying to myself this lie really worked. Remember that in fact I thought to myself, you know that means that whenever I'm in a jam lies actually do work.

You know the Sunday school pupil had corner on the truth when he said allies an abomination unto the Lord, but a very present help in time of trouble or something to that. Fortunately, my foray into the world of deceit and lying so short live because my brother overheard the conversation in the garage and when he saw me coming back from where the chickens were.

He said you lied to. Dad didn't you. I had to admit I did and he said don't you know that God is watching God why bring God into this and I'll tell you. I thank God that ended my lying career. You know what kind of happened. I could've told that lie gotten by with it discovered you know there's something to this business of deceit and I could've told another one and more and and then you have people whose whole line is there whole secret lives become one of deceit, where where they are so devious and so cunning because they are fundamentally dishonest. Now Karl Barth. I think the great Swiss theologian was right when he said that we are all incorrigible liars. To some extent we lie to ourselves. We like to others and we lie to God and and that's the kind of thing.

We hope to uncover in this series of messages I tell you it is going to be painful for a lot of I'm reminded of the words of Sir Walter Scott, who is so right when he said oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Barth was right that we resist every encroachment of light. There is nothing that we fear more than self-disclosure in the presence of God and in the presence of others because we hang on to who we are and our secrets. We want them to remain ours. So you have this discrepancy. On the one hand there are people who are greedy and selfish, but they desperately want to come across as generous and kind Ananias and Sapphire allied about the amount that they receive from the land. Why because they wanted to be well thought of self. Ira was one of the people in the church there were deaconesses that were very generous and and so they lie in order not only to hide their sin, but to project an image that was not true them so you people whose lives are filled with deceit and all kinds of uncleanness, but but they come across as people of integrity and and are sometimes fastidious man. I kinda like that word fastidious in their commitment to making sure that they look just right, especially on Sundays and on church location and so you have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in this summer in preparation for this series of messages I finally read that book all my life I hear about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will something to tell you about them and some of you know somebody who perhaps that represents them very well and so there's this disconnect and then we fall into what is known as denial and were told that there are two kinds.

The first is conscious denial. That's where I hide things because I know right well that I'm sinning and so I might hide them very carefully and then you can actually get to the point of unconscious denial where you actually begin to believe your own lies and you actually think that lies our reality. People sometimes construct such defenses to avoid further pain or to hide the sin or whatever were you actually believe your own lives. Somebody once said to me speaking about themselves.

They said I don't have any blind spots. If you're about about funny that it had a blind spot. You'd be the last person to know about it. That's what a blind spot is that's the whole point my friend it if you if your wife tells me I live with a man who doesn't have any blind spots. Now I have some reason to think that maybe, maybe he doesn't.

But if he tells me.

Are you kidding me you're telling me you don't have any blind spots. I remember a man whose life could be best characterized by being one big blind spot yet.

He argued ferociously for his position and and who he was and no matter what was said to him, there was no was no intake. In fact, I can tell you his reality check bounced. Now the question is where do we turn to what mirror do we look not merely to see our bodies, but rather to x-ray our souls. That's what we need our parents did a job that may have been good. It may have been bad, but it could not possibly be thorough. Our teachers and our friends and are even our wives and and other members within the family.

They might reflect back to us who we really are, but you're thinking of Judas there at the last supper. Nobody really knew who he was and who they were sitting beside to where do we go to finally find out who we really are well. I want you to take your Bibles and turn to James chapter 1 James is going to help us here and I'm going to begin at verse 22 of chapter 1 in the book of James. He says do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself and goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it. He will be blessed in what he does. James says that the word of God is the mirror and it is to the word of God that we call to find out who we are now in those days the mirror was actually what shall we say, made of tin and bronze and they were not very accurately. The mirrors were not like they are today and people saw themselves but James is going to call the Bible the perfect law. It is the band to mirror that kindly helps us have a sense of identity now in the primitive cultures they do not have mirrors, I've heard of missionaries who who gave mirrors to people and they were astounded and imagine living your entire life and not knowing what you look like, except perhaps what people might tell you about yourself.

In fact, I heard of one woman who took the mirror and look like this and thought that she was seeing someone behind her and said translated into English. The missionaries said the equivalent was who is this hag that is living in this village. When we come to the word of God. Now we finally have a reflection as to who we really are. And James talks about those who have two different responses. The first is what I called the passive listener. He's the one who forgets and James says that it is like a man. You'll notice the text he is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets looks like now friends I need to just give you a little word from my heart to yours, James.

Here is an accurate student of human nature. He uses a word in Greek that definitely means man as opposed to woman. It's just not mankind. It is man it is male because, may I say that if there's anything that's true about women.

It is not that they have a tendency to look into a mirror and immediately go their way and forget what manner of women they are. That's a man thing. That's one reason why James uses a man there's another reason also is that men find it very difficult to admit who they are much more difficult than women do. I want you to know that when a man says he's working through his pain.

He may only be finding another way to really hide it because we as men are not very good at vulnerability and openness and so James says we are like the person. If we simply hear the word that goes in and then we turn away from it. Another comment when James says that the person who hears the word of God and he says in verse 22 do not merely listen to the word.

You'll notice how often he uses the word. Listen all that he does the word that is used was frequently used for an auditor when auditor is because auditors would say we want to come and listen to your lectures.

You want to do the reading. No where just here in case it's interesting and if you're not interesting. Starbucks is just around the corner.

Yes, my friend.

We live in an era when people really don't want the truth, and if it doesn't suit them. As I mentioned, Starbucks is just around the corner. You know, I've written a book entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong in this book I discussed many different kinds of emotions and we could list them here, depression, disappointment, anger, love, did you know that we are very prone to deception when it comes to love what we want to do is to love who we want to love and we don't take into account the consequences. All of these are the kinds of issues that I discuss in this book. By the way, what's the difference between divine love and human love very important distinction. Divine love is always based on the lover human love based on the one who is loved.

Oh, you're not the person I married.

How do we handle all of these emotions given to us by God to enliven our lives and yet often times so deceptive. The book is entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong now for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Remember that running to win exists to help you make it all the way to the finish line and we always provide resources for our listeners so that they are blessed the name of the book, managing your emotions time again for you to ask masterful certain the question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Today's question came to us via email from Elaine who asks you believe demon possession exist today and if so do you believe humans can be driven out.

Will Elaine my answer to you is yes and yes.

I believe the demon possession exist today. In fact, I think I've met people who have been possessed by demons and sometimes there are people in our churches who come to pastors that it is that we've had here at the Moody church they come to me or another member of the pastoral staff and they will say that I have alien spirits that haunt me that want to control me and often times there pastors who won't believe them well here at the Moody church. I tell our pastors that we should believe people like that we should believe them because I believe that there can be demon possession today. In fact, we've had some instances, which in my opinion are rather clear where you have people who want to blaspheme Christ and they find within themselves spirits that want to control them evil spirits what your next question is can they be cast out. Will the answer is yes, as long as Jesus is Lord and as long as we understand that he won a victory. The Bible says in Colossians chapter 2 that he disarmed all principalities and powers.

Ephesians chapter 1 speaks about Jesus as being above every principality every power, every name that can be named both in this world and in the world to come. People can be free of evil spirits. Now, having said all that, I think it's very important to get some counsel in this matter. I think it's important for Christians to pray together to understand that sometimes as Jesus said regarding some spirits. They do not go out except by prayer and fasting.

Bottom-line, Elaine. Keep reading the word.

Keep studying go to the library, perhaps go to the bookstore find some good books on this topic and they keep trusting God for deliverance for yourself and for others. Thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered in the future.

Broadcast go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Many people are deluded seeing themselves as they want to, not as they are one cause and be refusing to listen, to be honest thinks of others tomorrow more lessons from James on self perception. This is Dave running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime