Change starts when we are honest.
I'd like to write this blog post and tell you how honest I am, but that's not the truth. I'm a liar and I'm good at it.
I don't really lie to people. I've been taught that it's wrong and I don't want to hurt others. No, the person I lie to all the time is myself.
You see, no one is there to call me out. No one is there to catch me in the lie. Nope. I can lie to myself all the time and no one would even know.
What I lie about is the real state of my heart. I love to pretend that I'm a good person. That my motives are always right, that my actions are innocent, that my passions are God-pleasing. I get so good at lying that I often begin to believe my lies are the truth.
But let's be real. I'm a broken sinner, and, if you don't mind my honesty right now, so are you.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9
There is often one big indicator for areas of deceit in our Christian walk, they are usually the areas we are most defensive about. The truth is we like our sin and we aren't sure if we really want to give it up in exchange for what God desires for us.
- “Letting my eyes linger on the magazines at the store checkout and the sleazy ads on my computer screen have nothing to do with my porn problem.”
- “My three trips to Target each week are not because I’m discontent. I just like looking around.”
- “I already know what the Bible says. It doesn't matter if I don’t read it much."
- "I'm not being sinful in the way I dress. I'm just proud of the body God gave me."
We can't trust ourselves because the sin inside us wants us to be in rebellion against God and against the good he has planned for our lives. We have to be willing to be honest with ourselves and stop covering up our sins with deceitful excuses. Until we are ready to be honest with ourselves, we will likely miss the truth that God is speaking into our lives.
Humbly identifying the ways we lie to ourselves breaks open the door for change. Admitting the truth about the state of our hearts allows God to turn us around and help us start new. It sure isn't easy, but it is necessary. When we confess our sins, we find the comfort and beauty of God’s unconditional forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 4:9
When we’ve been forgiven, our hearts start changing from the inside out.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. -Ephesians 4:22-24
And the biggest lie Satan has us all believing (and wants us to keep telling ourselves) is that life is about us.
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. - Romans 11:36
We, our spouses, even our own precious children belong to our sovereign God. He sets the rules, plans our course, and determines our lives. And the adventure he calls us to, making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), is way better than any short term pleasure to which we may find ourselves clinging.
"If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." - John 8:32
Why would we chose anything other than the glorious freedom found in the truth, in Jesus Christ?
So where are you today? What lie have you been telling yourself for a long time now? Let's humble ourselves before God and let him start to build us back up for his glory!
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. -James 4:10