Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Answering the Lies

Do you hear them? They cut through the air. Do you see them? They fly so fast. They land with a dull thud on your wooden form. The part that has yet to be turned human. The pain draws your attention again and again away from the warmth of the living fire inside you and onto that stiff, cold puppet, that manipulated toy that used to be you. And those darts find their mark day after day. The lies. They have struck and you shudder. 

But you are not without an answer.

 So to the one drawn again and again to nasty habits: to that oh-so-delicious occupation of minimizing other's difficulties and magnifying your own, to weighing your acquaintances on your scale of holiness, to believing your wisdom is beyond others . . . to those who do this, and then realize it and look around and see where you are, the mud again, the muck, the pig sty. "You pathetic failure!" the lies say. "You'll never break these old habits."

     Answer with truth.

Look up from this mud and past the pig farms and serfs' cottages. Look over the rooftops of the tradesmen and beyond the stately edifices of the lords' estates. See the palace beyond with its white spires and waving flags. Remember, you are a child of that king there. Get out of this pig sty and keep walking that way. He has not disowned you because you've fallen into the mud again. Say the truth to those lies, "I am a child of God!" Galations 3:26

 To the one who is trying so hard to be good, to say the right thing at the right moment so that you won't hurt others like they've hurt you. To the one who had parents who shamed them and is now determined not to repeat history; however, she is finding it oh-so-hard. To the one trying to forgive her husband his costly error, an error that she herself can't imagine ever doing. To the one wrapped up in worry about what she should choose or how she should spend her time. Hear the lie in your striving. "If you don't get it right, you won't be loved."

     Answer with truth.
Step out from under that yoke. Look at that load, that mountain of bricks that you are trying to pull. Do you really think you are strong enough? Have you forgotten your fellow yoke partner? You are pulling that load with the son of God. In fact, he pulls it all. You don't have to. See! Your work quota will be met. Speak the truth to those lies, "I have already been made right and am loved even when I make mistakes!" Jeremiah 31:3

 To the one who sees others in more prestigious jobs, with more intelligence and more beauty, who seem more clever, who have nicer things and more trendy clothes, who are younger with fewer pimples, who can dine in nicer restaurants and buy new furniture, who know so much about how the world works. To the one playing second fiddle, two steps behind, feeling inadequate at her job, who owns shabby things and has a simple mind, muddled and confused. Who believes, "I have nothing and am no good!"

     Answer with truth.
Look here at the steps you are taking. See this pace at which you run. This is the speed I have set for you and not faster. Pay no attention to those passing you on the left and right. You aren't running their race but yours. God has given you this work here. He has prepared it beforehand for you. It is his work, and no work or worker of his is shabby or pathetic or worthless. Say it now, "I am his workmanship and the work I am doing is good!" Ephesians 2:10

➤ To the one who wishes to be heard, craves to be known. Who never felt like her parents understood her and so is now seeking someone, anyone to say, "I get it." Who opens her heart again and again to those who cannot understand and cannot answer her how she would like. Who hears it whispered in her ear after ever failed relationship, "No one understands you. You're not worth knowing."

     Answer with truth.
Will you fault the other humans for not seeing into your heart? Will you cast them out of your life because they are not omniscient? They, like you, are a bumbling blind man tripping and walking into walls in this dark cave. Do not push them away because they do not know the color of your eyes in this darkness nor the secret yearnings of your heart. Only one knows you like that. Say his name aloud. "God sees and cares more than any human ever could." Psalm 139

➤ To the one who has been wronged, accused of doing the very thing she sees the accuser doing. To the Christian who wants to yell at the other church-going ladies, "How can you say such critical, condemning things!?" To the one observing others accusing each other of ill motives. To the one tread on, stolen from, lied about, or misunderstood. Who wants to interject and tell them how they are all wrong, or to shout to the heavens, "No one is fixing this problem here! I have to do it!"

     Answer with truth.
Who is the doctor and who is the patient? Do you know how to perform heart surgery? Do you even know the doctor's diagnosis for the other patients? Do not go running down the hospital halls wielding a plastic scalpel or pushing your fellow brothers or sisters up against the walls. There is but one doctor who can cure, and his work is slow and invisible. He knows every pain their weak hearts have caused, and he has ordered nature to ripple in effect with their ill choices. Fear not. He shall balance the scales of justice. But as for you, he has burned your record of errors in the eternal fire. So then, go humbly under his healing knife as you remember, "God is the doctor and he is working on me too."1 Peter 2:23

 To the one who feels unable to handle her children's squabbles or her friends' mood swings or her parents' idiosyncrasies. Who feels like she's drowning in tasks without enough hours in the day to complete everything. Who is afraid because her son must have four teeth pulled because of cavities or whose grandpa has been showing signs of dementia. Who doesn't know what to do or how to do it. Who is believing, "I have to figure this out or else things will go terribly wrong!"

     Answer with truth.
Have you forgotten who is directing this play? Do you think that the author will not resolve the story? Are you the painter or the architect or the sculptor? Who holds the world in the palm of his hands and tells the waves and wind when to rage? Who orchestrates the deeds of millions all across the planet? Who knows your troubles and how they will end? Who gives tasks and takes them away? If the answer is in your mind, let it be in your heart also. "The Lord is my strength! He will take care of me." Psalm 28:7 

What use is it to say we believe in Jesus if we don't believe what he says about us and himself. Answer the lies with truth, and those flaming darts will fall uselessly to the ground.

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