"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 (NIV)
The diagnosis was unexpected. Unsettling. And followed by tears of...relief? I climbed into my car, fastened the seatbelt, and wiped away the tears. Why am I relieved by difficult news? I wondered.
As my doctor's words ran through my mind, so did a surprising phrase: I'm not crazy. The relief, I recognized, was founded in the truth that the diagnosis revealed.
When did I start believing I was crazy? I recalled the chronic pain I've suffered for the last two years. As I did, familiar accusations ran through my mind: You're such a wimp. There's nothing wrong with you. You're crazy. Ah, there it was, the lie that had slithered unbidden into my mind and nested there.
I've spent many of my adult years uncoiling the lies I've believed about myself. Venomous lies that poisoned my mind following a dozen years of childhood sexual abuse: You're worthless. No one will ever love you. And the heartbreaker... God doesn't care.
I'm not the only one who has believed the lies, right?
You don't have to be a survivor of childhood abuse to believe lies. I think they're part of the human condition. And women seem especially susceptible. Perhaps that susceptibility is an imprint of the fall when Eve believed that first untruth the serpent hissed at her in the garden.
But good news comes with the truth. Not our truth. But the Truth — Jesus Christ.
The Bible says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:1). In other words, when condemning accusations coil around my mind, I know — I can be fully assured — they're not from God. And if they're not from God, they're not worth believing.
I'm learning to combat the lies by submitting them to the Truth, Jesus.
When the enemy says, "You're worthless."
Jesus says, "You are a pearl of great value."
When the enemy says, "No one will ever love you."
Jesus says, "You are My beloved."
When the enemy says, "God doesn't care."
Jesus says, "I gave my life that you might have eternal life."
After my doctor's appointment when I recognized I'd fallen prey to the lies again, another thought went through my mind: You'll never get it right. Good grief! This time, I had to laugh. I was aware of the crafty serpent and wasn't falling for another lie. Instead, I turned to Jesus and thanked Him for the freedom found in Him, the Truth.
While the enemy will continue to try and thwart God's truth, we can know he's already lost the battle. It's a done deal. In Genesis 3 we read that the head of the serpent will be crushed under Jesus' heel, defeating him for all time. He holds no real power over us.
The longer we walk with Jesus, and the more we seek His truth, the more we'll recognize His voice and enjoy the freedom found in Him. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1, NIV)
Dear Lord, I pray that I'll recognize Your voice above all others. Give me ears to hear You. Teach me how to live in the freedom of Your truth and thank You for the gift of Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
By Ginny L. Yttrup