Lies Christians Believe
Wednesday 10 Jan, 2024
How are you feeling about yourself as you start this year? Take a moment to think about it. Positive, as you are optimistic about achieving the goals you set for yourself this year? Optimistic about the changes you’d like to make this year? Assured that nothing will shake your faith this year? Or are you rather unsure as you didn’t manage to work through your insecurities last year? Disappointed because you don’t seem to hack parenthood or retirement? Frustrated because you can’t seem to ever meet other people’s expectations? Overwhelmed because you’re not quite sure where you fit in? Maybe you are feeling a mix of these things, or indeed, maybe it very much depends on what day it is.
As Christians it can sometimes be hard to have full confidence in our identity and all we have in Christ, and not let our feelings and thoughts be influenced by our circumstances and people around us. Ultimately we fall prey to believing lies about ourselves and our lives. ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’ll never be accepted for who I am’, ‘I’m a bad mom’, ‘I can never be forgiven for this’, ‘I can do things out of my own strength’, ‘I am unlovable’, ‘My views are more important than yours’, ‘God’s grace isn’t sufficient for the multitude of my sins’.
If we think about it, we could probably write quite a long list of lies that we believe or have believed about ourselves. And these lies make us feel insecure, vulnerable, disappointed, bitter or angry. They can consume us, plague us, warp our view of ourselves and Jesus, and ultimately rob us of the joy we can experience in Christ. And these lies also lead us to sin. In Christ we are promised freedom; freedom from the slavery of sin. And lies are the origin of sin which rob us of the freedom we have gained in Christ. Jesus is described as being full of grace and truth (John 1:14) and Satan is described as the father of lies (John 8:44). Truth and and lies are not compatible. And yet we live in a world where we are surrounded by lies, believe lies and struggle to discern the truth. So, tackling the topic of lies is actually pretty important in the Christian life. Why don’t you take a moment to write down some of the lies you have believed about yourself? And why don’t you take them to God and ask Him for His help in tackling them over this coming year? And come find me, I’d love to chat with you about them.
You might have noticed that even as Christians, it’s relatively easy for us to believe lies about ourselves and about God. We fall into the same pattern that Eve did in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3. The first sin ever committed started with a lie. Read Genesis 3 and notice that Eve listens to a lie, dwells on the lie, believes the lie and then acts on the lie. ‘Did God really say?’
Eve listened to the lie of the serpent, instead of walking away. Eve let the lies of Satan occupy her thoughts and she dwelt on what he said. She engaged with what he was saying rather than recognising the lie and temptation and shutting her mind from it (v3). And then Eve chose to believe the serpent’s lie that Adam and she could be like God knowing good and evil. Eve then took the fruit and ate of it; she acted on the lie that had been whispered into her ear and she sinned.
The pattern from lie to sin we read about is: listen, dwell, believe, act. Think about how the lies you jotted down earlier can lead you down the path of sin. Do they make you angry, bitter, do they lead you to slander or speak harsh words about others?
Today we’re not going to be confronted with a talking snake, but we are met with messages or thoughts that try to deceive us. Satan as the father of lies, uses lies to deceive, manipulate and ultimately draw us away from God. So, how do we discern what is a lie and how to we work against it?
Firstly, as I encouraged you earlier, we need to identify what the lie is that we’re believing about ourselves or about God. That isn’t always an easy thing to do, but possibly an area of sin in our lives can be a good starting point too. Beliefs produce behaviour; if we believe the lie that we’re worthless then we won’t care for ourselves well. If we believe the lie that God’s grace is limited then we’ll act as if He is a mean judge eager to punish us.
Secondly, once we’ve identified the lie that we have believed we need to fill our mind with the truth of God’s Word to counter that specific lie and listen to the voice of the one who created us, who knows us and who loves us. Only once we are rooted in what God says about Himself and us, as revealed in the Bible, are we truly able to put our armour on as we fight the lies of the devil (Ephesians 6). We can apply the same pattern identified above to truths, to enable us to combat the lies: listen to the truth, dwell on the truth, believe the truth and act upon the truth.
Over the next couple of months we’re going to go through this process with some of the lies that Christians believe, in an attempt to better equip us against Satan’s attacks and to help us grow in our understanding of ourselves and of God. The lies that we’ll tackle are;
- God could never use me
- I need to pretend I’m fine until I am
- I must be perfect to be a good Christian
- My sin is too big for God’s grace
- God’s love for me depends on my Bible reading and prayer life
There are plenty more of lies that Christians believe, but this will help us to walk through the process and learn to trust in God and His Word not the lies of Satan. If you’d like to tackle any other lies, do come chat with me.