I don’t know about you, but other people’s words can have a big impact on me. If the people around me are being negative or complaining, it puts me in a bad mood. Someone can say a negative comment about me one time and I can believe it so hard that I make it into part of my identity.
I think many women are like me. We allow other people to speak into our lives and it isn’t always positive or true. We allow ourselves to believe Satan’s lies. And when we buy into the Satan’s lies, we forget what is truth.
1. The lie: The Comparison game
Feeling the need to compare ourselves to others is a lie that has been getting humanity in trouble since Cain and Able. Instead of letting God telling us who we are and who he created us to be, we compare ourselves with movie stars, celebrities, super models and even our next-door neighbors. Industries such as magazines, movies, social media sites, are banking on the fact that we compare ourselves to others. We have turned other people into idols.
When I was young I had a friend who had similar a personality and talents. She always had a ton of friends, while I had a few close friends. School was easy for her and I struggled. I constantly compared myself to her. The result of all that comparing made me dissatisfied with who I was.
Although we were alike, we were created by God to be unique individuals and God gave us different roles to play and different struggles to overcome. I eventually realized God does not want me to be more like my friend. God wants me to be the best version of the person who He created me to be. The only person He wants me to be more like is Jesus.
The truth: God created you uniquely you and has a specific plan for your life. He commands us to not be like the world but to become more like him. 1 Peter 4:10-11, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 12:2, Galatians 6: 4 – 5
2. The lie: You aren’t qualified.
What is God calling you to do? What is keeping you from doing it? As Christians we often tend to think that to serve in a ministry we have to be an expert. Just because you haven’t read the Bible all the way through 57 times or have never lead a small group or taught a lesson, does not mean that you should not lead.
When I was first asked to lead a small group I heard that voice telling me that I did not have enough experience and I wanted to back down. But I couldn’t. I was filling in for someone and there was no one else to do it. I was terrified, but I did it anyway, I prayed and studied the lesson and prayed some more. I led the small group and while I was no Lyssa Terkheurst, it did not blow up in my face like I had feared it would. I felt connected to the group and we had good, real conversations about Christ.
According to the Bible, God choses unlikely, unqualified people to do big things. He chose David to be king even though he was a teenager and his only experience was leading sheep. Jesus chose real people such as tax collectors and fishermen to be his disciples.
I became part of the teaching rotation and started leading every few weeks. I had people tell me that they liked it when I taught and they felt connected to me. If I had listened to Satan, God would not have been able to use me.
When God commands us to do something like leading a small group or even going to the Pharaoh on behalf of the Israelites, God equips us to do the work He has called us to do.
The cliché’ rings true: God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
The Truth: God equips those he calls to do his work 2 Peter 1:3 Jeremiah 1:6-8
3. The Lie: You are not forgiven
We have all done something we have trouble forgiving ourselves for. Whether it is saying that horrible thing to someone in the eighth grade or making mistakes with big life choices. Most of have things we don’t forgive ourselves for and that deep down we don’t believe God does either. But this is a lie. The truth is we don’t deserve forgiveness. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. Our God isn’t like Santa Claus, we don’t have earn His gift. He doesn’t forgive us because we deserve it, but because He loves us.
The story of Jesus and Peter always astonished me. After three years of being best friends, roommates and traveling companions, Peter betrays Jesus. Peter denies Jesus three times, after swearing he never would. Jesus forgave Peter. Not only does he forgive Peter, but used Peter to build his church.
To say I am not a morning person, is an understatement. I am at my worst in the mornings. When I was little it was way worse. I would get in fights with my little brother about nothing. I was grouchy and snippy and really didn’t want anyone to talk to me. For a while during my childhood my dad worked the night shift and the only time I got to see him during the week was when he took me to school.
I remember one morning that I got into trouble with my dad on the way to school. I went to school that day feeling like a monster. My dad is the sweetest, funniest, kindest dad ever and it took a lot for him to get on to me. I remember talking to my mom after school that day, saying how mean and hateful I had been that morning. I told her that I hated that my dad only got to see the mean me. My mom told me that my dad loves me so much that he wanted to spend time with me when he could, even if that meant taking me to school in mornings when I could be a beast.
Our heavenly father is like that too. He forgives us for our bad choices and negative attitudes and loves us anyway. I can try to hide my bad side from friends and family, but God sees all of us all the time and loves us anyway. I didn’t deserve my dad’s forgiveness, but he forgave me out of love just as Jesus forgave Peter because he loved him, not because he deserved it.
Whatever we have done, no matter how big or small there is nothing we can do that God won’t forgive, because He loves us. When we believe Satan’s lies that we aren’t forgiven we hold us ourselves back from moving forward and accomplishing what God has planned for us.
The truth: We are forgiven by grace Ephesians 1:7
Sometimes it can be hard to separate the lies of enemy from the truth. We can find our identities wrapped up in a lie that stops us from being the person God created us to be. But the more we spend time in the word and in prayer with our heavenly father and surround ourselves with godly friends, the more tools we have to see Satan’s words for what they truly are LIES.
Hey fam! I'm Christina (or Chris, Stina, Chrisy, Lindsay…really whatever suits your fancy); I'm a consultant in NYC where I have made it my personal mission to seek out every #aesthetic coffee shop and bookstore. I love a red lip and I really love a baguette, but more than anything, I’m passionate about women coming to live fully in grace, embracing the life for which they were created, and thriving in community. You can find me @ChrisyLindsay or over at my blog, The Salt and Light.