Pastor’s Perspective – January 2023
So what lies are you telling yourself? Seriously, what lies do you actively tell yourself every day of the week? Every morning when you wake up and every evening when you go to bed? When you look in the mirror, do you see what’s really there? What lies are you telling yourself now?
We all tell lies to ourselves, and we do so for different reasons. Some people lie to lift themselves up and others do it to knock themselves down. We lie to ourselves for incredibly diverse reasons. And each one of those lies assists the demonic aspect of our world in paralyzing us, stopping us from moving forward.
You see, when you lie to yourself, you’re not the only one who is speaking.
Jesus told us that the Devil was the father of lies; the ultimate liar. Satan is constantly lying to us. Sometimes the deception is intended to cripple us; to stop us from moving forward to follow a dream or to challenge an evil. In other circumstances the lie is thrown at us in order to prevent us from changing ourselves for the better.
To what lies are you listening? Are you telling yourself that you can’t do it? Are you telling yourself that you are incapable of being loved? Are you telling yourself that you deserve the attacks and the misery that you are currently experiencing?
The devil’s lies are intended to pervert your vision of yourself and the world. He tries to twist the truth in order to keep you away from the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If you allow him, Satan will tell you what you can do and what you can’t do, what you did do or what you didn’t do. The devil will tell you what you can be and what you cannot be. He will shout at you and convince you of all the things that God can’t do in your life, and all of the things that you don’t deserve, and all of the things that you do deserve, and all of the things that you’re going to endure because of your sinfulness and failure.
But the devil never tells you the truth. The devil never tells you about redemption. The devil never tells you about resurrection. The devil never tells you about healing. About what one day doing the right thing can do. The devil never tells you that you are already beloved by God.
The danger in your recovery from demonic lies is that some people believe that the opposite of lying is truth telling. They love to tell the truth; just not about themselves. They love to tell the truth about you. Many people feel that they are champions of truth when they reveal the pain and damage that others are experiencing. These are the people who love to perform eye surgery with large wooden blinders over their eyes.
Most of us want to be good and decent people and we desperately want to be truth tellers, but we protect ourselves from the Truth by expressing our horror at the sins of others, while comparing our public vision of goodness with the secret truth that our neighbors would rather remain hidden. We want to judge others, without ever judging ourselves. Followers of Jesus FIRST judge our own lives; then we help others to see the truth.
Jesus doesn’t call us to be truth tellers in the public square without first learning how to tell the truth to the image in our bathroom mirror. I’m talking about telling the truth about you. Telling the truth about your own life, your own circumstances. Your own flaws.
It is hard and it’s dangerous. And it must begin with you. In order to understand and fully comprehend the truth, there’s another task that must come between the moment of conviction and the moment of salvation. Seeing the truth convicts us of our own sinfulness, it calls us to repentance and change. But for many of us the repentance seems daunting and too difficult for any except the most pious holy man.
God has given us assistance and salvation in the presence of Jesus Christ. When He was born into this world, Jesus had already given evidence to the salvation that God had sent. He was and is God with us. In His life and sacrificial death, Jesus presented to the world the Truth of God’s redemptive power and salvific love.
Sometimes we mistake white lie kindness for love. We ignore the flaws in ourselves in order to limp in to the next day and simply survive. God does not want that for us. God desires that we live life abundantly in God’s agape love and in fellowship with each other. That means that we must tell the truth to ourselves, repent in Christ, and live in love for God and each other.
Once we are living in the love of God, then we can become livers of the Truth in Christ, and tellers of the Truth in Love.
We must always remember that while the truth might tell you something ugly about yourself, God’s truth in love must begin by destroying the devil’s lie that you are unloved. The way that God combats the lies of Satan is by sending His Son into the world in love, so that no one would perish but receive everlasting life.
The Truth has never been about us, but about God’s love for us and others. It is time to stop lying to ourselves and proclaim the healing truth of God in Jesus Christ and His salvation. The brokenness of our world is based on a Kingdom of lies. We can only combat that brokenness with healing love and self-sacrificial truth-telling. Let us live in the love and truth that has nothing to do with our ability to perfect ourselves. Let us live in the salvation and redemption of Jesus Christ.
It’s time to follow the Way, the Truth and the Life in Jesus Christ.