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Sermon Quotes

Deception

Augustine of Hippo

Before God can deliver us we must undeceive ourselves.

Luc de Clapiers

The art of pleasing is the art of deception.

 

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.

 

Desiderius Erasmus

Now I believe I can hear the philosophers protesting that it can only be misery to live in folly, illusion, deception and ignorance, but it isn’t -it’s human.

 

Thomas Jefferson

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

 

Soren Kierkegaard

To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.

 

Niccolo Machiavelli

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

 

Blaise Pascal

It is not only old and early impressions that deceive us; the charms of novelty have the same power.

 

George Orwell

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Rudyard Kipling

Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.

John Updike

 He wonders if he’s lying. If he is, he is hung in the middle of nowhere, and the thought hollows him.

W.H. Auden

Our race would not have gotten far,

Had we not learned to bluff it out

And look more certain than we are

Of what our motion is about.

 Reflections in a Forest, Homage to Clio, Random House.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.

Steven Garber

Our propensity to deceive ourselves about our place and purpose makes it so very difficult to see the truth of our lives, to understand the meaning of our moment in history and our responsibility to it.

Taken from Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good  by Steven Garber, Copyright (c) 2014, pp.15-16. Steven Garber. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

John Updike

 He wonders if he’s lying. If he is, he is hung in the middle of nowhere, and the thought hollows him.

Ibn Ezra

The ear is sometimes deceived in hearing sounds, which are only imaginary; the eye, too, sees things in motion, which in reality are at rest; the sense of smell alone is not deceived.

Commentary on Isaiah

Eric Hoffer

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.

Oscar Wilde

The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.

A Woman Of No Importance

Steven Garber

Our propensity to deceive ourselves about our place and purpose makes it so very difficult to see the truth of our lives, to understand the meaning of our moment in history and our responsibility to it.

Taken from Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good by Steven Garber, Copyright (c) 2014, p20. Steven Garber. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Thomas Merton

We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.

New Seeds of Contemplation, New Directions, 1972, 34.

Brett Hansen

We will often stop at nothing to avoid cognitive dissonance. We will twist logic, bend reason, conveniently forget facts, invent new stories, even destroy relationships—all in the name of preserving our precious illusion. We’ll sacrifice anything. It really is that important to us. This is how addictions work, and when it comes to our own need to be “right,” well, we’re all addicts who need to be set free.

The Truth about Us: The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are, Baker Publishing Group.

Brett Hansen

Our goodness is our biggest self-delusion, and all of us seem to be living with it.

The Truth about Us: The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are, Baker Publishing Group.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.

The Brothers Karamazov

William James

My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items I notice shape my mind.

Mike Martin

Evading self-acknowledgment of our faults enables us to avoid painful moral emotions: guilt and remorse for harming others; shame for betraying your own ideals; self-contempt for not meeting even our minimal commitments. We also bypass the sometimes onerous task of abiding by our values and manage to sin freely and pleasurably. We avoid the need to make amends and restitution for the harm we do. And, above all, we maintain a flattering self-image while pursuing immoral ends, often in the name of virtue.

Self-Deception and Morality, pp. 37, 38.

Dallas Willard

Self-deception is a major part of what defeats spiritual formation in Christ. In self-deception the individual or group refuses to acknowledge factors in their life of which they are dimly conscious. Or even know to be the case, but are unprepared to deal with: to openly admit and take steps to change.

Quoted in Greg Ten Elsof, I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life, Eerdmans, 2009.

G.K. Chesterton

The greatest of all illusions is the illusion of familiarity.

William Ian Miller

[The flattery of others] is narcotic and addictive. It preys on two desperate and inescapable desires; to be thought well of by others and to think well of ourselves … We desire and need approbation so badly that  we seem more than willing to accept counterfeit coinage as real.

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