For the most part, we all agree that dishonesty is wrong. Sometimes it is easier…but it is almost always wrong. The one scenario I used to think/ask about as a kid was, “Well, what if I’m like the people that hid Corrie Ten Boom and her family. What if I lied to the Nazis and said “no, there are no Jews here.” It’s ok then, right?”
Well, I have yet to encounter a “lives are hanging in the balance” crisis of faith. So far in my life , lying has always been the wrong choice, and I believe that has likely been the case for you as well. What scares me most (aside from my own lack of self-control) is the lies we tell ourselves.
As an old maid in the church (come on its true. Over 23 and not married…or even engaged?!), as a woman and as an individual…I have struggled with and fought off some lies of my own. Things like: “no one wants me”, “I’m not cool enough to talk to her”, “I’m invisible”, “I’m ugly/unlovely”, “God can’t use me now”, “There’s nothing special about me.”
Now that I know who I am and whose family I’m a part of…I have chucked a lot of those things away from me. Since I have experienced the freedom of a true identity, I have become indignant–upset that I missed out for so long, angry that there are women all over the world believing the same lies that have been used on me. The truth must be made known.
Just typing that gets my jaw set and my heart pounding. But that personal struggle and passion is actually not what inspired this post.
Above I shared a few examples of lies we tell ourselves that are entirely derogatory and painful. Below, I’d like to highlight lies we tell ourselves that are actually… convenient. As much as the derogatory lies get my fired-up, I genuinely believe that the convenient lie is definitively and eternally more dangerous.
As much as the derogatory lies get my fired-up, I genuinely believe that the convenient lie is more eternally dangerous.
The following are verses that popped out to me over the course of the week as I read 1st John chapter by chapter:
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 1 John 1:6
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 1 John 2:4
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:20
We like to grab at identity.
I eat kale…therefore, I’m a health nut.
I take selfies with my starbucks drink…therefore I’m a basic white girl.
I like Star Wars…therefore, I’m a nerd.
OR on the flip side…
I’m not girly…therefore, I won’t wear makeup or jewelry…because that’s what “not girly” apparently means.
I’m not outgoing…therefore, I will be super awkward and avoid people to reinforce how “not outgoing” I am.
I’m here to tell you that ONE thing does not determine your identity. Stop pigeon-holing yourself. Our personalities are multi-faceted. We are complex creatures. Let’s be ok with that. Let’s not oversimplify who we are.
Now comes the responsibility…
If we truly intend to be a Christ-follower, we must realize that that is complex too. Saying one prayer doesn’t solidify your identity. Sitting in church doesn’t fulfill the requirements. Using the lingo doesn’t make you legit.
Rather, we must LIVE in a way that is consistent with the nature of God.
We must walk in truth.
We must walk in obedience.
We must walk in love.
If we do not do these things and yet have convinced ourselves that we have relationship with God, that we know him, or that we love him… we are committing the most dangerous error.
We are lying to our self.
The problem is, we often haven’t taken the time to examine ourselves. Do it today. Take a microscope to your life. Are you lying to yourself? Are you walking in truth, obedience, and love. Do you know that truth? Are you listening for chances to obey? Are you loving your family with your actions towards them?
Today is the day. Put out the fire. And while you’re at it…please pass the hose.