My brother explained something to me once that I’ve still never been able to wrap my mind around: “Just because somebody tells you something, doesn’t mean it’s true.” I know it sounds incredibly naive, but you could lie to me, or about me, a million times and every single time I’d be just as shocked and confused as the first.
The following section from Ron Carpenter Jr.’s The Necessity of an Enemy talks about how fear caused by lies can hold us back:
“Too often the idea of having to battle an enemy builds up in our minds to be such a daunting task that we refuse to face it. We delay the battle. We run and hide. Our ‘self-talk’ becomes increasingly fear based.
Fear probably stops more people from accomplishing things for God than any other factor. Jesus often urged His followers to ‘fear not.’ Paul wrote that we are to be ‘anxious for nothing’ (Philippians 4:6).
Yet people worry about the smallest things and let fear of ‘what might happen’ cripple them into passive ineffectiveness.
Most of what we worry about will never happen. We get all worked up over unsubstantiated information and other lies whispered into our minds. Our chief enemy is known as the ‘Father of Lies’, and his reputation as a liar is well deserved! He loves to see us cowering because of the awful things that might happen to us.
This creates a distinct disadvantage because, while the Enemy is waiting patiently and conserving strength for the battle, we are becoming emotionally drained and weakened by fear. We are not able to draw on strength and resources from others, because our fear is hidden.
Shedding light on hidden fears will eradicate them. Fear is a dark thing in life, so what better way to destroy darkness than to flip the switch on the light found in God’s Word? When we understand God’s view of any situation, that truth will confront our fears. We see what we really are facing and can respond with wisdom and courage.”
Like I said, I’m incredibly naive – when someone lies to (or about) me, I always end up feeling really confused instead of really angry. I also find myself overwhelmed with the desire to set things straight, and make sure everybody knows the truth. But I’ve realized, sometimes the more you try to “fix” things, the more messy they become.
The October 28th daily devotional from Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling, offers some good advice:
“Do not expect to be treated fairly in this life. People will say and do hurtful things to you, things that you don’t deserve. When someone mistreats you, try to view it as an opportunity to grow in grace. See how quickly you can forgive the one who has wounded you. Don’t be concerned about setting the record straight. Instead of obsessing about other people’s opinions of you, keep your focus on Me. Ultimately, it is My view of you that counts.”
Forgiving people (at least for me) is the easy part – wanting to set the record straight is where things get tricky! However, the October 12th devotional reminds us:
“Beware of seeing yourself through other people’s eyes. There are several dangers to this practice. First of all, it is nearly impossible to discern what others actually think of you. Moreover, their views of you are variable: subject to each viewer’s spiritual, emotional and physical condition. The major problem with letting others define you is that it borders on idolatry. Your concern to please others dampens your desire to please Me, your Creator.
It is much more real to see yourself through My eyes. My gaze upon you is steady and sure, untainted by sin. Through My eyes you can see yourself as one who is deeply, eternally loved. Rest in My loving gaze, and you will receive deep Peace. Respond to My loving Presence by worshipping Me in spirit and in truth.”
At the end of the day, I think that’s the trick: Remembering that God knows the truth. And while it might be really hard to comprehend how someone could lie right to or about you, at least it’s easy to remember that God has your back:
A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape – Proverbs 19:5
And on a lighter note, here’s some closing words of wisdom from George Costanza! :)
♥ Image (‘Barney Stinson’): source