God: Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
Satan: You can't love others until you first love (i.e. esteem) yourself.
Error: Loving others doesn't mean admiring them. It means treating them as we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). In fact, we're commanded to deny ourselves and treat others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4; Matthew 16:24).
When we focus on God and others, we have a healthier self-esteem.
God: Dwell on what's good (Philippians 4:8).
Satan: Dwell on what's good about yourself and you'll be a better person.
Error: The purpose of this verse is peace and gratefulness, not self-esteem (Philippians 4:9). We become better people by humbly admitting our sins, asking God's help, and being honest about our weaknesses (Romans 12:3; James 4:10).
Satan tempted Eve by telling her she'd be like God, and selfishness has reigned in the human heart ever since (Genesis 3:5).
Let's seek to honor God first and foremost and beware of selfish interpretations of Scripture (Matthew 6:33).
1. It's not only important to know Scripture. It's important to "handle it correctly." Satan twists words very convincingly (v.14). When someone is misled by one of Satan's twisted Scriptures, they are often resistant to discussion. We can try to explain the error and we can pray for the person, but we should avoid quarreling and godless chatter (v.14,16).
2 Timothy 2:14-16: Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
2. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) but we must not think he does this in obvious ways. He appeals to our selfish human nature.
2 Corinthians 11: 4,13-15: if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough... For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com