Here’s a statement that’s going to bother you.
Everyone believes a lie or two (or twenty).
It might be a lie we were told years ago by a parent, coach, or teacher. “You’ll never amount to much. Sorry, some people just aren’t as blessed with as much ability as others. You will be happier when you learn to accept your limitations.”
It could be a lie a spouse, child, or friend told us. “If you were easier to love and treated me better, then we wouldn’t have any problems. Our struggles are all your fault.”
The lie might be from the father of lies, Satan. “You’ve screwed up way too many times to ever be used by God for anything good. But don’t stress, there’s nothing wrong with being a second-class Christian.”
Sadly, there are lies we tell ourselves too. “If people knew me—the real me—they would reject me. And if they knew what I’ve done—my darkest secrets—they would hate me.”
See what I mean? Lies abound and haunt us way too often.
As you probably know, the very first sin committed on the planet was when Adam and Eve believed a lie. Tragically, we humans have a long history of relational failure which is, more often than not, linked to a lie we embraced as truth.
I have a divorced friend who is about to get remarried. Her kids often tell her, “You are choosing that man over us! You are choosing to love him rather than your own kids!”
Sadly, her adult children believe a lie because they are afraid, hurt, and angry. They don’t think it is possible for their mother to love them and her fiancé. The kids have created a false reality based on an “either-or” lie rather than a “both-and” truth.
Lie: Mom must love either him or us.
Truth: Mom can (and does) love both him and us.
Most of us (all of us if we’re honest) have a plethora of lies etched into our souls. And the source of those lies, whether from a person in authority, a person close to us, the enemy, or our self-talk, leaves us highly insecure and vulnerable.
And our insecurities always (and yes, I mean always) lead to serious relational problems. Our ability to love ourselves and others can’t happen or flourish in an environment of anxiety and doubt.
The strength of your love for someone is directly related to your heart health. And lies are like a virus in our souls.
And here’s the crazy part. When someone, like a pastor, counselor, or good friend, tries to tell us we’ve believed a lie, we often react and hold onto the lie as if it’s a priceless treasure.
When a lie is challenged, we internally and sometimes externally yell, “You have no idea what it’s like to be me or what I’m going through. You don’t know anything!” (Interestingly, we sometimes accuse the person who confronts us of lying to us.)
And when we argue in favor and support of the lie, it gets etched a little deeper and cemented even more into our minds and hearts.
Okay, Bubna, I get it; lies suck, hurt me, and damage my relationship with God and people.
That’s the problem.
So, what’s the solution?
The antidote is simple, not easy, but simple.
We must turn the light on.
Lies only grow in the dark. Like black mold under dirty, wet carpet, lies only survive when we refuse to see them for what they are—deadly, false beliefs.
We have to be willing to expose our beliefs to the light of God’s Word and the light of His presence in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit if we are to destroy the lies.
Take a breath. Please don’t delete this article or shut me down too quickly.
I understand. You might be disgusted right now, thinking, “I am so tired of ridiculous and useless spiritual platitudes! Oh goody, all I need to do is walk in the light. Whatever!”
Like you, I’m fed up with quaint and hyper-religious answers to real-world problems.
Here’s what I know from firsthand experience and from helping hundreds (probably thousands) over the years.
Nothing changes until we see the need for a change, and seeing happens best in the light.
An addict doesn’t change until they see their need to stop.
No one decides to lose weight just because their doc or spouse says they must.
Nothing changes about what you and I believe (and do) until we see it for what it is and decide to change.
Until we have an “aha moment” and recognize the harmful, dark, and devasting lies we’ve blindly accepted, we won’t and can’t get better.
The coach or teacher told you to accept mediocrity because you suck at football or science. But you can excel at other things and never have to embrace being average.
Your spouse told you everything in the marriage is your fault. But nobody is that bad (or good), and it always takes two to make or break a relationship.
Satan hissed in your ear after your last major failure that you’ll never be good enough or loved enough because you’re not holy enough. But God never loves you anymore or any less based on your performance.
I could continue, but I hope you see my point. (Get it, see?)
One of my all-time favorite actresses, Meryl Streep, once said, "True freedom is understanding that we have a choice in who and what we allow to have power over us."
Yep. She is so right.
And the power of untruths can only be broken in our lives when we let the One who is the Light of the World expose them and allow Him to root them out of our minds.
So, what beliefs do you hold that are false?
Need some help identifying the lies?
Start by making a list of negative things you believe about yourself. (It might help you to fill in the blanks on the following statements.) Be sure to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through this process.
I’m too ___________.
I’m not good enough to accomplish _______________.
I suck at _____________ and deserve _____________.
That ___________ will never change about me.
Then, once you have a list, ask yourself, “Is that a lie or a false belief I have accepted that needs to be brought to the light of God’s Word?”
If you step into the light, I can promise you two things.
First, the experience might be difficult and painful. Remember, I admitted that the process is simple but not easy. Nonetheless, boldly step into the truth because that is where you will find freedom and new hope.
The second thing I can promise is that the experience is worth the struggle. It might feel like you will never change. You might think you are hopeless. (That is a lie.) You’re not.
And once one lie is exposed, don’t be shocked to find an entire spider’s web of lies all strung together in a sticky mess. It’s okay. You’re okay. Stay the course. Jesus loves it when His kids get untangled and free.
I love this quote by the late American philosopher John Dewey, “The first step in freeing men from external chains was to emancipate them from the internal chains of false beliefs and ideals.”
You can and will see the chains (i.e., the false beliefs) when you bring your heart to the Light.
No matter what lies you believed in the past, or now in the present, you can live free in Christ.
“When I break the power of lies in your life,
you are undeniably and unquestionably set free.
John 8:36 (BPV)