If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
To walk by faith you must believe in your heart what God’s Word says but if you deceive your own heart you won’t have faith in God. James tells us we must deal with our tongue to keep from deceiving our hearts. If we speak contrary to God’s Word we convince our heart God’s Word is not true, which is deception. How do we change our words? We must change our thinking for our thoughts will determine what we believe, and what we believe will come out of our mouth.
There are three primary influences that wrongly effect our thinking. They are observation, association, and falsification. Observation means what we look to or focus on. If we spend our time watching T. V. shows and movies for example that are filled with sex and violence and lies, this will begin to cause us to believe those things are ok. People will begin to believe in what they fill their minds with through such observation and begin to believe such lifestyles are ok. For example from observing such media many believers see nothing wrong with having sex outside of marriage, which is only to be between a husband and wife.
The second thing that leads to deception in the heart are associations. Scripture teaches us to choose our friends carefully for even the wicked will lead you astray. The third area is falsification, which refers to false teachings from God’s Word where people are not taught the truth but are taught man-made religion instead. Many today don’t believe in the promises we have been given through Christ, for they were taught such things passed away. So to guard your heart from deception you must address observations, associations, and falsifications. Right thinking leads to right believing, right believing leads to right confession, and a right confession will bring right results in your life.