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

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn and twin grandsons, Aiden Joseph and Carson Stephen. “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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