The Deceitful Heart

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” says the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 17: 9).He previously judges similar hearts, “Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. ” Jeremiah 9: 5. So beware of the deceiver and the slanderer and all who speak not the truth.

Our mouths speak forth that which is in the heart. If truth is in the heart, truths will be spoken. If lies are in the heart, lies will be spoken. Sometimes the lies we have believed are about a god we think we understand…but it’s a false god when what we believe about God isn’t based on the truth of His Word. Many think they know God but when their mouths give voice to that knowledge it can sound more like shame, ridicule, condemnation, judgment, or constant rebuke. That’s not the God we know as loving Father, forgiving Son, and empowering Spirit. But, many lie about their god and many others believe their words.

We can also lie about ourselves and others. We say things about ourselves that are untruths…and we are deceived. We say false things about others…and we deceive. Deception is beguilement, bluff, mystification, bad faith, and subterfuge, all acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth (as in half-truths or omission). Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment. All of which when employed toward a friend or family member wreaks havoc on relationships.

I have seen the destruction and dismantling of relationships first hand when deceitful hearts have the upper hand. It’s demoralizing and debilitating for all involved. When such deceit is in ones heart toward God, it leads to eternal damnation. When deceit is in the center of human relationships, there is a separation that often goes unresolved. The antidote to deceit is truth. Knowing truth, living truth, and speaking truth will indeed set people free to fully live and fully receive the love that comes from the God of Truth to set free their captivity of deception.

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17: 14). Be free to love and serve with truth in your heart and love on your lips!


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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.