A.K.A. Lies, Part 2: Lies we believe about ourselves
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever said it was wrong in one important point:
Words can pierce like a sword or be a balm to the soul (Proverbs 12:18). Words can shine light on the truth or deceive us with lies and darkness.
John 8:44 says the devil is the father (progenitor) of lies. All lies originate with him. If he can’t convince us to believe lies about God, he’ll start tempting us to believe lies about ourselves. Those who are experiencing the aftermath of divorce will especially struggle with these lies that are straight from the enemy:
- I don’t deserve to be loved.
- No one will ever love me unconditionally.
- I’m damaged goods.
- I can’t have healthy relationships.
- I will never measure up.
- I’m not important or valuable to anyone.
- Wholeness requires the love of someone else.
We start believing these lies and no one tells us any different; in fact, a spouse or a parent in a divorce situation may even be verbally speaking one or more of these lies into your life.
Don’t believe a word of it.
These lies shatter our self-worth and may cause us to act out in destructive behaviors because we either don’t know or don’t believe the truth about who God says we really are.
Even the concept of self-worth can be deceiving. On the one hand, the Bible says that God created us as his own image bearers to reflect his glory (see Genesis 1:26-27 and Isaiah 43:7). We are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who knew every one of our days before we were ever formed (Psalm 139:13-16).
On the other hand, the Bible says that no one is good but God alone (Luke 18:19) and that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
So where does that leave us in fighting against the lies the enemy tells us about ourselves and in understanding our value to our Heavenly Father?
It all depends on the source of our self-worth.
- If our self-worth is based on our own accomplishments, we are deceived by the lies the enemy speaks to our own hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). We become caught in a trap of perfectionism that will ultimately fail us, because we can never be perfect enough.
- If our self-worth is based on what other people think of us, we are deceived by the lies the enemy speaks through others. We become caught in a trap of people-pleasing that will ultimately fail us because those who demand our compliance cannot or will not be pleased, no matter what we do or don’t do.
- If our self-worth is based on belief in what God tells us and what he acted upon, we can replace the lies with this truth: we are infinitely invaluable to him, and he proved it by dying for us so we don’t have to be ruled by the power of sin and darkness.
Here’s the truth that matters:
- I don’t deserve to be loved – but Jesus came to love the unlovable.
- No one will ever love me unconditionally – but God loves us perfectly and unconditionally.
- I’m damaged goods – but God transforms us into a new creation.
- I can’t have healthy relationships – but God enables us to love and forgive others as we receive his love and forgiveness.
- I will never measure up – but Jesus measured up for us and God accepts his perfect life and sacrifice on our behalf when we turn to him in faith.
- I’m not important or valuable to anyone – we are infinitely valuable to God and he proved it by dying for us and rising again to live in us.
- Wholeness requires the love of someone else – the only person who can make us whole is God.
- God chose us before he created the world to be his treasured possession (Eph. 1:4, 1 Peter 2:9).
- God has adopted us as sons and daughters through Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:5).
- God promises to work good out of the bad things that happen in our lives (Romans 8:28).
- Nothing, nothing! can separate us from his love (Romans 8:35-39).
- In HIM we are more than conquerors in all things (Romans 8:37).
- In HIM we can do all things (Philippians 4:13).
- The greatest manifestation of God’s glory is the love and grace he shows to broken hearted sinners, to you and me in our darkest moment (Romans 5:8)
Truth endures; lies are here today and gone tomorrow.
Truth matters. You matter.
In what or whom are you finding your self-worth? What lies are shattering you? What truth will you replace it with today?