Truth or Dare: Living With Consequences Part III
Sitting down to read this morning, something Demoss wrote caught my attention.
“People don’t fall into bondage overnight. They don’t just wake up one morning and discover they are addicted to food or have a temper they can’t control. There is a progression that leads to bondage…”
The enslavement to sin does not happen in an instant. It is progressive. I envision it much like a long staircase. Only this stairwell has no railing. At the top of the stairs, is a door. On that door is a sign. That sign reads: What If?
What if I go ahead and have that drink? What if I go to that party though I was told not to? What if I take the money from that wallet I found? What if? What if…? This question is not always one that has an answer in which is visibly transparent. The allure of mystery, of possibility, of obtaining that which we desire is but a part of the journey up that perilous flight of stairs.
What is the progression that draws us up this treacherous path?
- Listen to a Lie
- Dwell on the lie
- Believe the Lie
- Act on the Lie
Listen To A Lie
A little white lie will not hurt anybody. Every body lies. Sometimes you have to save face. It is better to omit certain details to spare another’s feelings. Do these sound familiar? Have you said or believed some of these things? Perhaps even told a lie or omitted a truth to spare feelings? Maybe said something completely untrue to try to keep yourself out of trouble or from taking the blame? God knows I have….
The truth is though…
- Deception has many avenues or channels
- Lies are not harmless
I remember a time when I tried to spare a loved one’s feelings by telling only a part of the truth. Long story short, it only fueled the fires of discord that already existed between us. Instead of sparing this person harm, it did more damage. It also impacted our relationship in such a negative way, that we no longer spoke to each other. The effort to avoid drama, in fact, caused more.
Remember now Eve, what was her first mistake?
Her mistake lay in her listening to the serpent.
When Eve listened to the serpent, she opened herself up to doubt. The silver tongue of the deceitful one spilled forth words of promise of things that were both exciting and new to Eve. So that even when the red flags were raised, she did not see them. Although the serpent’s words were contradictory to those of her Lord, Eve in her listening to the lie…brought her to take the first step towards bondage and made those that followed easier to take.
For once she heard the lie, she began to ponder it.
Dwell On A Lie
The lie has been told, we have heard it, now what? Like Eve, we contemplate it.
Have you ever been told something someone has said or done to you or about you? Have you read an article on an issue that is rather close to your heart to find another that counteracts it? What happened?
I admit, I am very analytic. I am also a brooder. So when I learn of something, I think on it for hours, sometimes even for days to weeks at a time. This can be very dangerous especially if my focus is not on the the truth found in God’s word.
Believe The Lie
When we hear a lie, we tend to think on it. We consider what we have been told. We ask questions. We begin to ask questions in regards of our stance, morals, beliefs, as well as the validity of such. We begin to wonder if perhaps what we heard is true. We then begin to ponder if perhaps the source is correct. Eventually…if we hear it enough…we start to believe it is true, taking us yet further up the stair.
Act On The Lie
Belief in something more often than not stimulates action. When we believe something, we are bound to live in accordance to our beliefs for the better or the worse. Knowing the truth and being able to discern the truth are vital if we wish to live Christ like lives. For once we fall prey to the lie, we believe it, and when we believe it we act upon it.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
Each of us has some area in our lives where we are in bondage. All of us has a sinful behavior that is about as reoccurring as an old habit that is hard to break. To free ourselves of spiritual, physical, emotional, or any kind of bondage we must first do three things.
- Identify the areas of bondage or sinful behavior.
- Identify the lie at the root of the behavior.
- Replace the lie(s) with the Truth.
Psalm 15 New International Version (NIV)
A psalm of David.
1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
John 8:32 New International Version (NIV) 32
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”