As a teacher, there are precious moments in your career that bring you back to the reason you began teaching in the first place and I recently had one of those moments. I had the opportunity to participate in a program with my students that was meant to empower them to share their hurts, their fears, and ultimately their stories. It was an incredibly powerful day for not only my students but for all of us in the room with them.
During the early part of the day, one of the icebreaker activities was the game Two Truths and a Lie. The students in my group were more excited to hear my 2 truths and a lie then they were to tell their own (I have played this game many times so I know how to hype it up). When it was my turn, my statements were as followed:
- My brother has been struck by lightning
- I played basketball in college (for those of you who don’t know me, I am 5’11)
- I have kissed Mr. T (in which my student proceeded to ask who Mr. T was).
Sometimes the simplest things we believe either about ourselves or others may be a lie that either the world or those around us want us to believe.
I sat there watching their eyes wandering as they were thinking about which one of those things was a lie. As each stated what they thought was the lie, the students either chose number one or three; none of them chose number two. When it got back to me, they were dying to know what the lie was, and when I told them that I never played basketball in college in fact I never played basketball at all, I was a volleyball player; they were completely shocked. One student stated that he was so surprised that the simplest of these statements was the lie, and that he should have known that something so obviously simple wasn’t true. I told them that this is a great lesson in life because sometimes the simplest things we believe either about ourselves or others may be a lie that either the world or those around us want us to believe.
As I was trying to debrief the day, the statement that I made to those students about the lies we believe really struck a nerve. How often in life do I believe the simple lies that I either tell myself must be true or filter truth through experiences that may not have been positive and turn them into lies? How many times do I put words or thoughts into people’s head without them even saying a word to or about me? Why do I struggle with believing God’s truths? Are they that extravagant that I truly believe that there is no way that they could be true?
The thing is, I know that God’s words are true and that what he says about me is true, but where I struggle is I all-to-often listen to the lies of the devil instead of taking God at His word. I know these things in my head but struggle with believing the simplest of truths in my heart; it’s like there is a barricade somewhere between my head and my heart that keeps me from whole heartedly believing God’s truths about me.
At times it feels easier to believe what seems the most normal and when we live in a culture that tells us that we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, or whatever enough, that tends to become the norm in our minds. Instead of fighting against the lies that Satan and the world would have us believe, we fall into them and eventually those lies become our distorted truths and negative self-talk.
Instead of fighting against the lies that Satan and the world would have us believe, we fall into them and eventually those lies become our distorted truths and negative self-talk.
But thankfully this isn’t something new to God. From the very beginning, we as human beings struggle with being deceived by the tiniest of lies and smallest twist of the truth – I mean the first woman created by God, who walked with God, struggled.
In Genesis 3, the account of the fall of mankind rests on the deception of Satan that ultimately led to the sin of Eve, “Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:13). There are two main factors that stand out to me when I read this account – Eve was deceived into questioning God when she was told He was withholding something good from her (I mean seriously, how many times do we believe that He is withholding something good from us), and she twisted the truth by adding restrictions onto what God had said – He never said she couldn’t touch the fruit v.3 – which ultimately solidified her belief in the lie and the ultimate fall of mankind (how would you like that on your shoulders).
In looking at my own life, these two factors run rampant throughout. I am betrayed into believing the lies that are thrown at me by the enemy and these lies take all shapes and forms. From believing the labels that the world puts on me to disbelieving what He has for me is better than anything else. I tend to fall into the trap of twisting God’s truth to fit what I want to believe or to throw His truth completely out the window because somewhere in the Word there is a clause that says “these truths don’t apply to Lisa”.
But out of the ashes of Eve’s – and our own – failure to believe and follow truth, God shows His true character and abundant grace. He loves us even though at times we may fall into the trap of believing the outlandish lies that our thrown at us and our failures to trust in His simplest of truths. His Word is our steady foundation of truth and the more we stand on it, instead of our own strength, the stronger we become to combat the enemy’s lies.
His Word is our steady foundation of truth and the more we lean on it, instead of our own strength, the more our eyes will be fixed on Him.
This verse has been engrained into my memory for such a time when I need to control the lies I so easily believe: 2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. I challenge you to take every thought captive, to memorize His truths, to keep them in our hearts, so when we are tempted to believe the lies, we are able to self-talk the Gospel and live in the freedom He freely gives!
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Image Credit: Sang Valte, Creative Commons