Sin and Selfishness
Many deceive themselves. They protest that they want to be rid of sin, and it isn’t really true . Others do want to be rid of their sin, but selfishly, for their own ease, their own self-respect, or because they are afraid of being found out. Those find it difficult. But when a man hungers and thirsts to be rid of sin so that he may help others, it really is extraordinary how soon the step is taken from darkness to light, from sleep to waking.
It seems natural and right, when one considers that the message of Jesus was unselfishness. There can’t be any vital experience of religion where selfishness has got a hold, whatever form it takes. What surprises one is not the miracle of conversion, but the ease with which even very good men will go on deceiving themselves all their life long; men who are moral and philanthropic, but with some root of selfishness in their hearts, which prevents them from ever experiencing a new birth or saving a man who is lost. Why do these people deceive themselves? It seems such a mad idea, attempting to hoodwink God. I suppose they are not properly awake, that they don’t understand what they are doing.