Without a doubt, one of the greatest tendencies in our lives as people is denial. We read about this truth in the Bible when the prophet Jeremiah says:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV)
To move beyond self-deception and denial is a difficult thing. It involves at least two things. First, choosing to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves about what is really going on in our lives. Sometimes this is difficult because we would rather remain in the dark about certain things about us. It means being open to surprises and being willing to face fears.
Secondly, such radical honesty means asking God to help us. While even the ancient Greeks held high the aphorism ‘know thyself’, it is easier said than done. To truly enter into the depths of honesty and move beyond denial, we have to ask God, who is heavenly light (John 1:5), to shine revealing light on our lives in every area. We can enter into the prayer of the psalmist, when he wrote:
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)