Let’s make something abundantly clear from the get-go: You have an enemy who wants to destroy you, and he is a liar. In fact, every lie that’s ever been told by anyone, ever, can be traced back to him. He lied to the very first woman (Genesis 3) and he’s been lying to women ever since.
I suspect that assertion makes some of you uncomfortable. I know some of you are thinking, “You dim-wit, you can’t blame everything bad on Satan!”
I AGREE WITH YOU.
We cannot and should not blame every “bad” thing on Satan. Many times we don’t even know what “bad” means. Little kids think veggies are bad and candy is good–we’re exactly like that. We don’t always know what is best for us or who is behind the twists and turns of life. A traffic jam is pure evil when it makes us late for work, but, who knows? Maybe it was divinely orchestrated to save our lives from something down the road. (I tell myself this every single time I’m stuck in traffic. It keeps me calm.)
So, hear me: I’m not suggesting every inconvenient life-happening emerges from the pit of hell. I don’t think we should handle all of life’s discomforts by RebukingThemInJesusNameBlessGod.
But lies? Lies are different. Lies always, always, always originate with Satan.
You are just like your true father, the devil; and you spend your time pursuing the things your father loves. He started out as a killer, and he cannot tolerate truth because he is void of anything true. At the core of his character, he is a liar; everything he speaks originates in these lies because he is the father of lies.
~John 8:44 The Voice translation~
Our enemy, Satan, lies to all of us constantly. None of us is exempt. But some of us are more susceptible to believing lies than others. It doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong. It just means that some of us have to be more aware, more vigilant and maybe work a little harder to think clearly than the rest of you.
There are too many unique issues to name all of them, but here is a general list of people who are especially known to struggle with clear, truthful thinking:
1. The Abused: Research shows that early childhood abuse actually scars the brain. A study involving 51 women published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, showed childhood emotional and sexual abuse mark women’s brains in distinct patterns — with emotional abuse affecting regions involved in self-awareness. It’s well-established that abuse changes the way women see themselves, but now we know there is a physiological reason for it.
2. The Misled. Maybe you weren’t abused as a kid. Maybe your parents, your church and your community did a lot of stuff right—did their best—but still did some stuff wrong. You have been misled–probably by mistake–because well-meaning people leading you were misled, too.
For example, my parents did an amazing job raising seven children. I stand in awe most days wondering how the heck they pulled it off. Truly. So, it’s with the highest respect and reverence for them that I tell you this: But both of my parents were fearful people. Both of them had a tendency to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Both of them struggled with perfectionism instead of grace. Both of them mismanaged their anger instead of processing it and moving past it.
Thankfully, they balanced all that with immeasurable love and sacrifice for my siblings and me. I cannot overstate that. They loved us and did their absolute best. But when a small, developing brain is immersed regularly in fear, negativity, perfectionism and anger, it might possibly struggle with right-thinking when it grows up.
I say this, because I know.
3. The Depressed: Currently, about 1 in 10 people suffers from depression, with woman being twice as likely as men to be depressed. The most common symptoms of depression include mood changes, difficulty remembering things, making decisions, planning, setting priorities, and taking action. MRI scans show that these common day-to-day depression symptoms are associated with abnormalities in specific areas of the brain. So, just like abuse, these are real, physiological conditions which make clear-thinking (true thinking) very difficult.
4. The Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: HALT is an acronym widely used by counselors in chemical dependency treatment centers. If not addressed, each one of these four physical or emotional conditions leaves an individual vulnerable for relapse. I propose, each one of these conditions also leaves a woman vulnerable for believing lies. (And BTW, most moms I know are HALT, more often than not. ) (I’m actually HT at this very moment. More T than H, but still.)
The problem with Lies is that we only have our brain to think with. I have never had a different brain. I can’t try on another brain for the day to see what it feels like to think differently. I don’t know what it’s like inside your brain or my husband’s brain or my neighbor’s brain.
It’s like the news feed that goes across the bottom of the screen, or the droning of the music in the background of the store. After a while, it’s so natural, so ordinary, so routine, so familiar you don’t even notice it, much less discern what it’s saying.
The Lies Moms Believe can sometimes go completely undetected because they’ve been playing in our heads for so long, they’re the only thing we know. We may not even realize that Truth sounds different.
Here’s our hope and it’s a big one: God is Truth. It is the essence of His character. He doesn’t just possess truth. He doesn’t just love truth.
HE. IS. TRUTH!
There are dozens of scriptures declaring this, but here is one where Jesus just comes right out and says it, plain-as-day.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The only way to know if something is a lie is to expose it to Truth. That’s why we are going to talk about it. Openly. I’ll go first. I’ll expose my thoughts, examine them in the Light of Truth, and see how they compare. Then, I’ll invite you to do the same. Not all the Lies we discuss will be directly discussed in scripture. That’s okay. Let’s talk about them anyway.
Remember the Lie from last week? “I didn’t get enough sleep/I don’t have enough time”? We’ll start there. Let’s examine that one and see if it’s a lie–and why.
Can you think of other women who might be susceptible to believing lies? Are there any lies you believe that you want to discuss in this series?