Seeing Only What You Want to See

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Psalms 50


I.         I would like to share a portion of a letter I received:

“I am in love with this girl who loved me too. We loved each other so crazily but at one point I realized that she had been lying to me for no reason to spend time with her friends and other mates. She liked spending time with boys, and she hid that from me. She said she doesn't have time for me, spending a little or no time with me, but she lied to me and was with other people and friends. I always asked God if she was the one for me and I got positive replies. All I wanted was for her to know her limits with people and live a good life. I did not like her exposing her body by wearing short dresses. I advised her, but she thought I was controlling her and taking away her space. When I asked her to keep her distance from guys, she thought I was controlling her.


“If she was sent by God, isn't she supposed to be a good person? I mean a person who loves me and only me? Or at least change to be a good person when I try to change her? I do not understand. Now she has broken up with me and it is really very hard for me to carry on! Was it my misinterpretation of what God said, or was it suppose to be like this? I'm praying to God asking to bring her back in to my life. I do not know what more to do. Please do pray for me! I'm so confused, and sadness is all I have in my heart all the time.”

            A.        What struck me first was how this young man was able to list out strong reasons why this girl was not a good choice, and yet cling to the notion that he was in love with her.

            B.        One author said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” [Anais Nin].

                        1.         Our personal bias colors things, sometimes to the point that we lose sight of reality.

II.        Preferring delusions

            A.        Isaiah speaks of the foolishness of idolatry - Isaiah 44:14-20

                        1.         The person deceives himself, never stopping to realize his own lie

                        2.         Men cannot create gods, God created man.

            B.        Idolatry has no profit, yet men pursue it - Habakkuk 2:18-19

                        1.         It gives “comfort” - Zechariah 10:12

            C.        Why do people do it?

                        1.         They don’t want to think about God - Romans 1:28

                        2.         To do so means facing the unpleasant idea that they are accountable - John 3:19-21

                        3.         Thus people turn to those who tell them what they want to hear - II Timothy 4:3-4

                        4.         They love being told lies that agree with what they want to hear - Jeremiah 5:31

            D.        The shame of it all - Micah 2:11

III.       Shifting Blame

            A.        Ahab accused Elijah for causing problems when Ahab was the one promoting sin - I Kings 18:17-18

            B.        Jeremiah was blamed for telling people that those who stayed in Jerusalem would die - Jeremiah 38:1-4

            C.        Paul was rejected for telling the Galatians they were sinning - Galatians 4:16

                        1.         And this was after the Galatians had strongly accepted Paul

            D.        In each case the truth was told. A truth that the receiver did not want to hear.

                        1.         But it can’t be their fault, so it must be messenger’s fault.

                        2.         People want to be told they are all right, just as they are - Isaiah 30:10-11

IV.      Blind to the Truth

            A.        The blind cannot lead the blind - Luke 6:39

                        1.         But it doesn’t stop people from trying

            B.        There are people who have no truth in them - I Timothy 6:3-5

                        1.         The wicked don’t want the truth - John 3:19-21

                        2.         Refuse to listen to the truth - John 8:45-47

            C.        Those who lie are often victims of lies - II Timothy 3:13

                        1.         They think there is safety in lies - Isaiah 28:15

                        2.         They trusted empty words - Isaiah 59:3-4

                        3.         They actually live in lies - Jeremiah 9:3-6

            D.        Speak evil of what they don’t understand - II Peter 2:12

V.        We need to be people who seek truth

            A.        That means we have to be truthful - Ephesians 4:25

            B.        We must want the truth so much, that we will work hard to get it - Proverbs 2:1-6; 8:17; 23:23

            C.        We ought to fear not having truth - Proverbs 1:7

            D.        When we find the truth, we must stay with it - Proverbs 4:5

            E.        Where we end up begins with where we are looking to go - Romans 2:7-8

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