The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Part III
Looking into the falsehoods we tend t gto convince ourselves are true, I uncovered some unpleasantness this week in the going over of two more of Satan’s ploys. If there were ever lies that could be pride damaging when confronted with the truth, these two are the ones that will bring us to our knees.
- I Can’t Help The Way I Am
- I Have My Rights
Reading these, you may be asking a number of questions. I know I had a few.
- Can we really change every little thing that is wrong with us with diligent prayer, faith, and effort?
- Are there things that we truly cannot help or change about ourselves?
- How does a person truly change without falling back into a habit?
I Can’t Help The Way I Am
This lie is a present state of bondage for me. There are things that I just do not quite understand about myself and am struggling to grasp as well as change. For me, one of my biggest struggles is my inability to let go. Words that are said to me or about me to others from the lips of people I care about are ones that are not easily forgotten. In fact, you could call me a brooder, because when something bothers me I think about it so much that it practically consumes my every waking thought until the matter is dealt with. It is despairing not only for me, but for those I love.
I have told myself many things to ease the heartache:
- Everyone will talk about me but no one will talk to me.
- If they did not laugh at me when I bear my heart and soul I would be able to talk to them.
- She always thinks the worst of me, so it is hard to be anything but what she believes me to be.
Have you struggled with something? Is there maybe something you still do struggle with? Is there a quality about yourself that you are looking to change, but find yourself providing yourself with a healthy number of excuses or alibis? Do you tell yourself any of these perhaps?
- It is that time of month.
- My hormones are going crazy.
- Things are stressful at work I cannot help but be irritable when I come home.
- I am so exhausted, I just cannot function.
- I have had an abusive childhood; I have never been able to trust people.
- Our house is so tiny, everything gets on my nerves.
These alibis we give ourselves, these little lies, they all have one common implication:
We are merely victims reacting to wounds inflicted by others.
Back To Eden
When Adam and Eve fell from grace, it was because of one thing. Their personal choices. While each turned and pointed a finger, the truth of the matter is: NO ONE WAS PULLING THE STRINGS. Eve had no one but herself to blame for her partaking of the forbidden fruit. Convincing as the serpent might have been, it was HER CHOICE. Just as when Adam chose to eat with his wife, the consequences of his own actions lay with him. THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE TO BLAME.
What can we learn from the Fall?
We can learn not to allow ourselves to Fall into the Pit of Despair. For it is when we believe the lie that someone else or something else is responsible for our actions that we give in to hopelessness. When we have no hope, we do not hold on to any belief that we might be able to change.
We can change. We can walk away from sin. We have to stop providing ourselves alibis.
I Have My Rights
- I have the right to be happy
- I have the right to decent wages
- I have the right to a certain standard of living
- I have a right to be loved and understood
- I have a right to be in a good marriage or healthy relationship
- I have a right to be respected in the workplace
- I have a right to time off and vacation days
The pursuit of equality is something that has shadowed our history and remains a constant issue. There is simply no being happy, there is always something being denied us. Whether it is a woman’s feeling of being oppressed by a male dominated world or a man’s struggle to be recognized as a person who can also endure hardship, it is quite obvious that there is always something to be found wanting.
Nancy Leigh Demoss made a fascinating point on this subject. One too, that I cannot help but share with you now as I believe it holds a great deal of truth in it.
Any successful relationship or healthy culture is not built on the claiming of rights, but the yielding of rights. Even our traffic laws reflect this principle. You’ll never see a sign that says, “You have the right of way.” Instead the signs instruct us to “Yield” the right of way.That is how traffic flows best, this is also how life works best.
~Nancy Leigh Demoss~
We live in a world today where our wishes have become expectations. Those expectations we call rights. When we do not get what we wish or expect, we are entitled to protest.
Suddenly we have the right to:
- Be angry
- Be depressed
- Take action
- Insist on getting our way
We Are A Society of Jonahs
When we do not get our way, what do we do? We do something about it! It is sad but when people, situations, and things fall short of our expectations we tend to become upset or angry. We lash out at those whom we feel hurt us.
We take a Jonah approach.
Jonah 4 New International Version (NIV)
Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die,and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh,in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
Jonah believed himself entitled to many things. He felt he had the right to dislike the pagan Ninevites. He felt he had the right to minister where he wanted to minister. He had the right to see the Ninevites condemned by God.
Yet when God did not do as he expected God to do, what happened?
Jonah was upset, displeased, even angry. He wanted to die! Now, that’s a bit dramatic! Maybe it reminds you of a childish temper tantrum. You know, the kind where they hold their breath….kick…..scream…or pout until either you cave in or they realize it is not getting them anywhere. More often than not, it seems we are becoming the yielding parents who give in to the unacceptable behavior. We forget that giving in does not teach values, nor does it earn appreciation…gratitude….or anything good. Instead it enables us to keep on believing that we are always going to get what we want and that when we do not throwing a fit is a sure way to see to it that everything is put right.
Most importantly, we forget who the ultimate power is. We forget we already have the most amazing support and advocate in our corner.