I’ve grown up believing these truths of man and have learned that they are actually defeating lies.
“Truth” #1: Fake it ‘til you make it.
While I accepted this statement as a vehicle on the road to success, I now find it to be a vehicle on the road to self-doubt, paranoia, and ungodly people-pleasing behavior. Abraham and Isaac were also guilty of this.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16, ESV) I’m pretty sure the ninth commandment is reinterpreted in children’s bible school as “Don’t lie.”
God has created us into individually wrapped packages of unique creations. To falsify your package is to deny the creation you were made to be, inside and out. We spend all our time “faking it” that we can’t figure out where the real us ends and the fake us begins. We end up afraid that we are going to be “found out.”
God doesn’t want us to be afraid. (Psalm 27:1, ESV)
You are fearfully and wonderfully
“Truth” #2: The greatest thing you have is your reputation.
Noah had a reputation for being a nutjob, Joseph a rapist, Moses a murderer. Mathew was a tax collector (and we all know how we feel about those guys). Rahab a prostitute, Paul a Christian killer, Jesus a drunk and a glutton. A lie from a student’s mouth can blacklist a teacher. An unmarried pregnant daughter of a pastor can alienate her father’s congregation. I have been accused of things I did not intend nor did I do.
“The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.” (Psalm 37:12-13, ESV)
“Truth” #3: I deserve goodness.
It’s very easy for me to get bitter when I compare my life to others and ask God, “Don’t I deserve this?” That belief in my heart opens the floodgates of temptation.
God asks: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:2-4 ESV)
No. No, I don’t deserve the blessing in my life. I don’t have understanding. We, like Job, “(are) of small account; what shall (we) answer Him?” (Job 40:4, ESV) We don’t deserve a God who has given his Son to die in our place. There’s nothing we can do that will equal the cross. But every good blessing comes from above and is meant to transform you and glorify the Lord.
“Truth” #4: If you want something done you’ve got to do it yourself.
Lately, as I’ve been praying for faith, I’ve been hearing God’s still, loving voice: “Shut up. Sit Down. Be Quiet.”
It’s time for God to drive. He’s mapped out the route and packed the car. No, you cannot look at the map. No, you don’t need to know how much money is in His pocket. No, you don’t need to know what hotel you are staying at tonight. Yes, you ARE going to pick up that hitchhiker for part of the journey. Yes, He DOES know where He is going.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8, ESV)
“Truth” #5: Beauty is only skin deep.
I had a professor in college who wasn’t someone you would notice at first glance. As time went by, however, she seemed to magically transform until one day, I walked into class and was amazed at the stunning beauty of this woman. It was like watching a flower unfold in the springtime. Somehow her kindness, intelligence, faith, compassion, her sense of humor, her confidence and vulnerability shined through her eyes and her smile. It didn’t matter that she always wore black and that her hair was always hastily pulled back in a barrette. On the other hand, I’ve met extremely gorgeous people who became rather plain and even ugly as time wore on.
“Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…” (1 Peter 3:1-4, ESV)
What “truths” have you stopped believing?
In Sarah Varley’s former life, she spent her days as a high school theatre teacher, producing plays and musicals, until the day she prayed the desperate prayer: “God, I’m an idiot. Take my life ‘cause I’m miserable and I can’t figure it out myself.” A few months later she heard God’s call to go to Nineva…er…Los Angeles, where she lived for a time to “deal with some things.” A few months later she felt him sending her back to her hometown, where she is now working as a houseparent to 5 teenaged girls and substitute teaching at a local school. She writes about the journey God is taking her on in her blog (re)education of the feminine soul.
Photo credit: Jeremy Brooks