There are many names society calls us which we then twist and turn within ourselves and deem to be truths. These are not the lies I wish to address today.
Instead, it is the ones we have unwittingly picked up ourselves and what we do with them.
Feeling a low sense of worth is common. We travel in and out of each day with severe insecurities about people not accepting or loving us.
In most cases, it is not from people telling us they hate us or we are unworthy of affection directly.
(Perhaps people have said such things directly and even felt so but when did that mean that absolutely everyone else feels the same way?)
Even if we have not been traumatised by words directly spoken to us, we take it upon ourselves to seek reasons why we are unworthy. We see people discriminating certain traits or aspects of someone or something else and immediately we take that on-board ourselves.
Sometimes it is direct—'Alex calls Sam fat and I am like Sam; so I am fat and disgusting.' We can think this even if we love Sam to bits and do not deem them disgusting.
Other times it is less direct and we merely perceive negative attitudes towards general aspects we share.
"God hates me."
Standard "truths" we tell ourselves but don't believe
Everyone often seems to say, "your grades don't define you" and I respond, "yeah, I know"—unless I feel close enough to them and vent about how, actually, yes they very much do.
This is sort of the reverse of the previous point: rather than taking on lies spat out by the world, we just as equally deny truths.
It is a hybrid of the two, of course, as the truths often battle pre-existing societal lies; for example, that grades define us.
It is often almost second nature to us then, when we pick up phrases along the lines of "you are beautiful, inside and out," "height does not matter," "your worth is not in your pay check." But do we ever believe them?
Hardly not, except maybe when we are telling them to others.
"I am forgiven"
Twisting lies into truths but still abusively
Abusively twisting lies into truths is another dangerous scenario we get ourselves into and, once in it, we are in a massive vortex of self-abuse whilst trying to remain honest with others and ourselves.
That is, sometimes we feel comfortable challenging the lies by saying "I am not [insert negative adjective] but I am [neutral spin on adjective]"; for example, we say, "Yes, I am overweight but I am not fat." It becomes an attempt to accept our traits but reject the abusive connotations around them.
However, still, deep down, we often continue to apply those negative connotations to whatever adjective we replaced it with.
"We are all human; making mistakes does not condemn me"
Bound in chains—for the best?
Our hearts and minds are so congested with all of this filth. Even when we try to challenge and reject the lies, bigger ones come crushing down upon us and rob us of the confidence to lay claim to the truths.
We are imprisoned and bound within ourselves by our own sheer belief in the chains. All we have to do is will the chains out of existence and we can breathe, but we do not.
Why? Because to drop our chains would leave us unguarded; exposed; sensitive. It is easier to accept them rather than to take up arms against the attacks and defend ourselves with a high self-esteem.
But that is yet another lie. I have watched enough Animal Cops: Houston to know how chains dig into flesh; the wounds they cause, the growth they inhibit.
Take up arms
This is where the armour of God comes in and where we see it always should have been a factor.
The lies are like the slinging arrows, aflame and burrowing deep within us unless we take up the armour and shield ourselves with faith in what God says about us; with faith in the truth that guides us.
If we let truth wrap around us like a belt, keeping us together, our faith in God and our armour can do the rest. With the Spirit, the Word, we can slash down the lies that come at us and that already fester within.
We can be cleansed in the glory of who God says we are. He knows the number of hairs on our head; He knows our ups and downs, ins and outs. And He still gave—still gives—everything for us.
If nothing else, have faith that God speaks truth. It is a hard, everlasting battle against the lies of the world and there are times when we will flounder. But in everything, never confuse God as one of those feeding lies into you.
Whether you feel the acceptance and weight of His truths or not, do not let that hinder their validity. Be careful of falling into the third category, of abusive contorted truths, but rather cherish the idea and fight for it until you can one day truly believe it.
Sabrina Meyer is in her second year at university studying English and History with a knack for procrastination and a passion for learning. Her spare time consists majorly of reading, getting overly enthused about K-pop, and gaming.
Sabrina Meyer's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/sabrina-meyer.html