We Are All Believing Lies
We'd all like to think we can tell lies apart from the truth. Most of us would say we can tell the difference. But what if that's not the case?
There are many lies that you and I buy into on a regular basis.
We believe that we have to measure up to the impossible standards society sets for us.
We think money will buy us everything we need to be successful and happy. If we don't find it in one thing, we just keep searching for the next thing.
We think we have something to prove. If we don't live to impress others and demonstrate that we've got it all together, then who are we?
None of these things are true, and none of them are serving us. One of the ways we can be brave is by recognizing and facing the lies we’re believing.
SEEING THROUGH THE LIES
When we catch ourselves believing things that aren't true, the only way to really combat them is to confront them with truth.
First, we have to realize that we are believing lies. One of the best ways to do that is to speak our thoughts out loud. Have you ever recognized how much sillier things sound when you say them out loud?
The next time you find yourself thinking something critical about yourself, negative about your circumstances, or anything else along those lines, simply vocalize those thoughts to see how they sound out loud.
Are they true? Really, truly accurate? Fact or fiction? Truth or opinion? The whole truth or a partial truth?
For instance, if you find yourself thinking you’re a failure because you didn’t get your to-do list conquered, or you turned all your whites pink, or you dropped the ball on your latest project for your job, consider whether that actually makes you a failure. You can fail and make mistakes without taking on the identity of being a failure.
Are they helpful? Do they make you feel encouraged, motivated, inspired, or challenged? Or do they make you feel small, discouraged, defeated, or frustrated?
Are your thoughts motivating you to work harder, or are they keeping you paralyzed where you’re at? Helpful thoughts move us forward.
Would you say those things to a friend? Would you let a friend say those things to herself?
If your thoughts aren’t true, helpful, or something you would say to a friend, then perhaps you shouldn’t be saying them to yourself. I don’t use the word “should” lightly; I try to refrain from telling people what they “should” do because it places additional burdens of responsibility and expectations on them. But in this case, I really do believe that we ought to be more careful with what thoughts we allow to take root in us.
And that starts with seeing the lies for what they are and beginning to see through them to what’s true.
KNOW WHAT’S TRUE
In order to combat the lies that we often believe, we have to have an understanding of what’s true.
What’s true is what God says about us and Himself.
What’s true is that our identity lies in Him alone.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made, created with great things planned in advance for us to do. God rejoices over us with singing and delights in us.
What’s true is that God is in control. Always. Even when we can’t see it.
We don’t have to be perfect or fight for control. He’s got this, and He’ll work it all out in the end.
What’s true is that God is faithful to fulfill His promises. Always. Even when we can’t see it.
He’s always at work, weaving things together, providing for all our needs.
When the lies try to creep in, we get to boldly and bravely proclaim the things we know to be true to combat them.
One of my favorite ways to combat lies is to use affirmations and verses. I write them down so I can go over them frequently (at least once a day) until I actually believe them. And then I still go over them to cement my belief in them and choose to believe them daily.
LEAVING THE LIES BEHIND
The journey to leave the lies behind looks just like that process— recognizing the lies as such, combating them with truth, and growing our confidence in the knowledge of who we really are in Christ.
It’s also tremendously helpful to surround ourselves with a community of others who can point us back to the truth when we’ve gotten a little sidetracked. In this world of chaos and noise, it’s easy to lose sight of the truth, and it’s far less painful and lonely to go through the ups and downs with others who can support us along the way.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my friends and family. Even in the toughest situations I’ve faced, they’ve been there, and they’ve helped me retain my sanity when I thought it was all gone. When I was struggling to piece together life in the adult world post-college, my best friend kept me above water, and starting up a community group with my church that was getting started gave me the support system I’ve needed countless times over the last several years.
Leaving the lies behind is a daily choice. We will always be faced with them, but we don’t have to buy into them. We can choose to embrace the truth of who we are and remind ourselves (and each other) of what’s true each and every day.
That’s part of what we do in The Simple Joy Community as we come together to learn what it means to live and work with greater joy, simplicity, and intention! If that’s what you’re looking for (and who isn’t?!), then I invite you to join us there for even more tips to embrace who you are, remind yourself of the truth, and live the abundant life you’re looking for!