In my last few letters, we’ve been talking about the death dealing lies that keep us from the life God created us to experience. These lies have been cast as truth by our culture and our family upbringing. It will be your ministry to uproot these insidious and life-threatening lies. In Jesus-talk this is what he called “Casting out demons!” This is difficult work and only the Spirit can provide the power to accomplish the task. Love must be the tool you use to dig out the false and plant the real.
One reason this is not an easy assignment is because lies are sometimes preferred over truth. Lies maintain the status quo. Lies provide a guaranteed pleasure. Lies deny pain. Who wants to rock the boat? or relinquish the high? or feel the loss? On some level we know that to let go of the lies would ultimately be a good thing. But even though we know that hanging on to these thoughts and habits moves us toward death, we let them linger; they are so comforting, familiar, and momentarily enjoyable.
Think about your own life. A message that informed your self knowledge as you were growing up was that you were too much – too verbal, too curvy, too active, too emotional. “God loves quiet, submissive and demure girls. Boys aren’t attracted to girls who talk too much and have strong opinions.” Lies! Yet believed as true since they were lovingly communicated to you by the parents you trusted. The falsehood that became your governing truth was that you must not be you in order to be accepted and loved.
This lie determined how you felt about yourself, how you related to others, how you experienced God. You became comfortable hating yourself. Hating yourself gave you energy and explained why life wasn’t good. You deserved bad grades because you couldn’t sit still in class. You were attracted to “bad boys” because you were a “bad girl.” You needed to change so God would be pleased with you.
To trust the Biblical truth that God created you according to his plan for you, complete with your temperament, your inquisitive mind and your exotic looks would cause you to go against your family’s standards and values. For the sake of peace and to fit in with the ones you loved, it was better to live according to the lie.
You get the picture, lies often are preferred over truth.
Elle, your job is to enter relationships armed with truth and with love. Through you, Love’s persistent presence will weed out the lies that choke the garden’s life. Through you, Love’s unremitting whispers of truth will eventually drown out the voice of the demons. Jesus needs you to proclaim the good news – the kingdom of heaven is near. It brings life and truth. We can begin to take God at God’s word. We are the beloved children of God and with us God is well pleased.
With you on the journey,