By Anthony Casperson
Lies like to just pop up out of nowhere and try to make your bad day worse. Those times when your internal monologue says things like: “You’re worthless,” “Nobody loves you,” “Everybody would be better off if you just weren’t here anymore,” and the like.
On days when you’re clear-headed and things are at least not terrible, they tend to stay away. But when you’re under a little bit of stress or receive a single moment of bad news, they pounce. Ripping you to shreds from the inside out.
It’s even worse for we followers of Jesus who have a subcultural tendency of considering such thoughts as a lack of faith, or failure to trust God. “Well-meaning” people promise that things will get better, we just need to trust more.
But those lies keep coming back. We beat ourselves up for having them. We shrink back in shame from anyone who hears us have them. And, at worst, we put on a happy face mask while struggling inside because the promised check of “things getting better” has bounced and we don’t want others to add their glares of disappointment at us.
I, myself, have had such ideas pass through my thoughts. “I’ve been through bible college and seminary, how can I keep letting these lies bounce around in my head?” “I trust. I believe. I’ve faced that moment of questioning whether to deny God or not. And I stood firm on truth of Jesus, the resurrected God-man revealed through the bible. But I keep having untruths bombard my mind.” “I literally wrote a book on thriving in The Depths, but the darkness keeps grabbing my attention away from the Shepherd who leads me there.”
But if there’s one thing that decades of being in the valley of death-like shadow has taught me, it’s that the truth doesn’t make the lies go away, but truth does provide us the only real way to confront the lies.
The fact that doubts and questions and other various lies appear in our thoughts doesn’t automatically mean that we don’t understand the truth. Or that there’s some problem in our faith. Lies are opportunistic and will take every possible path to inflict themselves on us. All the more when their very presence can leave us in more physical, spiritual, and psychological pain.
Instead, when lies come, we should recognize them for what they are and run their statements through the words of truth.
Easier said than done, I know. But as we come to hear the echoes of the destructive lies, that shouldn’t make us feel as if we’ve failed one more time. Rather, it should drive us to think about the good and noble Truth of God.
We are his image-bearers whom he leads on the path he considers right. And he’s holy, just, loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Everything that says differently is a lie which cannot withstand that Truth.
So, when the lies come, don’t think yourself a failure for having them. Instead, let the lie have its futile fight against truth. The lies may come in waves, but the Truth is always ready to fight on our side.