Archive for April, 2022

Do You Lie to Yourself?

We talk to ourselves all day long. Some things we say are true and some are lies.

When I was a child, I told myself I needed to be taller to be important. That was a lie. Instead, I needed to tell myself the truth that I was important even though I was the shortest kid in the class. Because I believed this lie, I struggled with self-esteem through much of my early years.

As an adult, I told myself I could do any job. But that was a lie. I boldly applied for many jobs just because they were promotions. I told myself once I got the promotion, I would be able to figure out how to do the job. But that didn’t happen. There were a few jobs I just couldn’t do – and I had to endure much pain and humiliation to discover this.

In recent years, I have told myself I was immortal. But that was a lie too. I’m not. It took a life-threatening physical condition for me to face the truth I was going to die someday. This lie had kept me clinging to life too much and hindered my hope of living in a future life that is far better than this one.

So, why do we lie to ourselves? 

Sometimes the lie may feel better. “You can do any job you set out to do.” Feels good, doesn’t it? But is it true? No, it isn’t. But God says we can do any job he leads us to do if we depend on him (Philippians 4:13). May we tell ourselves the truth when we are contemplating a new job and avoid the pitfalls of a bad decision.

Another reason we lie to ourselves is that our culture has so much “fake news” in it. We become brainwashed into thinking like everyone else. We are surrounded by lies because the culture is strongly influenced by Satan, who is the father of lies (John 8:44).

A third reason we don’t tell ourselves the truth is our pride. We deny the obvious – that there is a God. When God tells us we are important and acceptable to him, we reject this truth and instead lie to ourselves that we can impress and achieve our way to respect.

So, how do we learn to tell ourselves the truth?

We will need to become aware of the conversations we have with ourselves. We will need to exam our self-talk to ensure it is truthful. “We are destroying speculation and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NASB). We can correct any lies we are telling ourselves, for depending on them will surely lead us the wrong way.

But first we must know truth. A good place to go is the Bible (John 17:17). As we increase our knowledge of the Word, we will need to practice it in order to gain an experiential knowledge of truth. Not just a head knowledge but also a heart one from which we genuinely embrace the truth from deep within us.

Another source of truth is knowing ourselves – what we want, what’s our passions, and our strengths and weaknesses. These truths are hard to know for we often deceive ourselves. “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB). But as we ask him, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us what we are really like.

Finally, the Bible says “as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7, NASB). We need to think about was is true, right, and noble so we can tell ourselves the truth and not speak lying words (Philippians 4:8). A quiet time every day is helpful to meditate on scripture to transform our self-talk into life-giving conversations with God. 

In closing, quiet yourself for a minute or two and focus on what you are feeling. Experience the dominate emotion for about a minute. Then, ask God to help you identify what thoughts are causing this feeling. Are these thoughts true? If not, ask God what the truths are.  Correct your self-talk by denying the lies and telling yourself the truth. Pray he will help you to tell yourself these truths often and enable you to depend on them.

May this exercise help you to stop lying and to better tell yourself the truth..

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