You've been lying.
Deep down inside, lurking away in the depths of your being is the knowledge that you haven't been telling the truth. Yuck, isn't it?
But do you know it?
Many of us live life like an iceberg – floating around yet holding most of ourselves back. Maybe only showing a portion of who we are, but hoping that one day what hasn't been shown won't break away and be brought to the surface – or worse, cause a collision.
Recently I went on a course that was possibly one of the best things you could ever do in life. It was called Living Wisdom (and it has a sister course called Soul Tour). I cannot recommend them highly enough.
There were 30 of us on the course, and it brought to the surface a whole bunch of lies that we had believed about ourselves: lies from our childhood, from previous partners, from parents, from people close to us. More yuck! Here I was thinking that I was doing okay in life, that I had got some stuff sorted. But then 'WHAM!' – I got confronted with heaps of dark lies that had permeated my soul.
Lies like, 'My value and significance is decided by people'; or 'Trust nobody – my survival is all up to me'; or 'Disappointment is unbearable'.
The Lies that Lie Below
The super interesting thing that I discovered was that these lies produce beliefs or assumptions about ourselves and about others. Then from those mistaken beliefs, we produce self-talk, which produces attitudes, which produces behaviour – in that order. So if a counsellor or teacher or pastor is trying to address someone's behaviour, you will be wasting your time until you get to address the lie that has created the mess.
First of all this can be liberating when you think of someone you are struggling to get along with – their behaviour or attitude has probably come from a lie that lurks deep within. I found this most helpful when I think of children misbehaving, or teenagers overreacting. Yes – it is always easy to look at the specks of dust in others!
But unfortunately, it also means that a lot of our own negative or dark behaviour has come from a lie that we continue to hold onto. Argh, that dreaded log in our own eyes!
Perhaps: 'I am powerless, I must get angry to regain power'; or 'I'm not acceptable, I'm stupid and rejected' are lies that ring true? Or maybe, 'My significance is determined by what I do' or 'I don't truly belong where I am'?
In order to debunk the lies we must replace them with truth. Obviously reading a quick summary article on Christian Today isn't going to do this, but solid soul-searching will be the start of the process, and replacing these thoughts with how God sees us. We all need to stop avoiding the lies that we hold onto and individually confront and address them. After all, Jesus said that the truth will set us free... have we considered what we are being freed from?
The comforting thing – the reassuring thing – is that we are not only freed from the bondage that holds us back, but we are also freed to the person that God has created us to be. Are you holding onto a misbelief about God? About yourself? About others?
Seek the truth that God holds about you – the real truth, not the truth that someone has told you.
It might truly set you free.
Matt Browning is a storyteller and lover of ideas. He is currently setting up a social enterprise for youth unemployment in Rotorua, New Zealand – taking youth who are dropping out of high school or coming out of youth prison, and hiring them full time so that they can get the experience needed to be hired in the future.
Matt Browning's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/matt-browning.html