STOP LYING TO YOURSELF

Stop Lying To Yourself https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/05/30/stop-lying-to-yourself/

Humans are masters of deception. We don’t like to admit it, but it’s in our nature to cover things up.

The first sin in human history started with a lie when Adam and Eve tried to cover the result of that sin.

We lie to avoid punishment and embarrassment.

We lie to gain advantage and self-esteem.

We lie to keep doing what we want.

Lying begins at a young age when children learn how to avoid punishment. Often when a child is punished for lying, rather than doing it less, they learn to get better at it.

Winston Churchill once stated, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

A fundamental question we will face in this life is: What will be my authority? Will it be public opinion or what God says is true?

THE BIBLE STATES THAT CHRIST AS GOD, IS THE PERSONIFICATION OF TRUTH.

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6

God not only is truth, he desires truth. He wants us to be honest with Him, with others and with OURSELVES.

“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31-32

If we lie to ourselves, we are likely to lie to others. Lies, especially the ones we tell ourselves, stunt our spiritual growth and keep us from the freedom Christ desires for us to experience.

If we cannot be real even in our own head, how can we truly grow?

God knows the devastation that comes from lying and wants to protect us from it.

“Do not steal. Do not deceive or cheat one another.” Leviticus 19:11
“Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.” Colossians 3:9

LIES ARE LIKE QUICKSAND

As a kid, I was terrified of quicksand. I thought that quicksand was this mysterious mud that was lurking just around the corner. I was always on the lookout for it. But as I got older, I discovered that quicksand is an unrealistic threat. Or so I thought. . .

Lies are a lot like quicksand. They appear to be a non-threat. But once you’re sucked in, they cover you in darkness, distorting TRUTH. Then the darkness begins to feel warm and comfortable. And before you know it, you’re alright with it. Forward motion and growth are nonexistent.

YOU’RE STUCK.

Because we are masters of deception (some more than others), we even fool ourselves into believing things that are false—and we refuse to believe things that are true.

How do you know if you’re not being honest with yourself?

The first indication is feeling uncomfortable with the idea that perhaps you are indeed keeping things hidden from yourself.

Remember, we keep things hidden in order to protect ourselves or to keep doing something we want to do. But God is a much better protector than we are. He wants to free us— even from ourselves (John 8:31-32).

DETECTING SELF-DECEPTION

“Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.”
Psalm 119:29NLT

Emotional state

We’ve all experienced hurt and disappointment. Sometimes those emotions trick us into thinking things that aren’t actually true. If we are emotionally reactive to something or someone, it may remind us of something painful or unresolved in our lives. It’s these areas where telling the truth to ourselves is difficult.

For example: If you struggle with trust issues based on past hurt, you may find yourself anxious, angry or scared to trust a new friendship. You may find yourself reacting to a new relationship in ways that are not warranted. In fact, your reaction is most likely based on who you are and your unresolved issues, and not the new friend.

When you find yourself having a strong emotional reaction to something or someone—pause. Ask yourself: Is this emotion related to the present or is it triggering unresolved baggage?

Notice Your Thoughts

We all want to believe our thoughts are an accurate reflection of reality. Unfortunately, our thoughts can be extremely inaccurate. Often, our inaccurate thinking reflects painful realities that we don’t want to admit.

Think about the last time something really hurt you or made you extremely angry. I’m not talking about the person who cut you off on the freeway. I mean to search your heart and mind.

Did you think of it?

Now, take that person or issue before the Lord. It could be that the one you feel hurt or disappointed by is the Lord. It’s no secret to Him. It’s time to stop hiding behind emotions. If we want honesty, this is where it begins.

Ask God to reveal the TRUTH.

Then WAIT.

Sit still and be patient.

You may want to journal what God reveals.

Notice Your Behavior

When your behavior is not consistent with who you want to be—pause.

Invite God into the situation for truth and clarity.

Ask yourself: What is motivating this behavior? What do I need to admit to myself about this behavior?

GOD IS A GOD OF TRUTH.

His arm is not too short to reach us, even in the quicksand of our lies. We all need a good dose of honesty.

Has God seemed distant to you lately? It could be that He’s calling you to be honest with yourself and with Him.

“Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you,   nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. . .So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm,  and his justice sustained him.”
Isaiah 59:1-2, 16.

Spiritual growth begins with honesty. Honesty begins within our own heart and mind. We must be real inside first.

Let’s stop hiding. Let’s stop pretending. Let’s be honest.

Call out to God today and may God bless you with courage as you strive to move forward in TRUTH.

I’ve included a fantastic song about honesty below. My prayer is that it leads you to God’s truth, love, grace, and mercy. He’s waiting for you with open arms.

Blessings,
Beckie

Comments are always welcome!

This post is linked with:
http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=1117

http://www.create-with-joy.com/2016/05/inspire-me-monday-week-230.html

 

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

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For the past ten years, my bratty thyroid has controlled my life, my sleep, and my waist line. If you’ve ever struggled with a hormone imbalance, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I feel as though I’ve been playing an unfair game of tug-of-war with my weight regardless of how healthy I eat or how much I exercise.

Today, I’m through with allowing my thyroid to order me around, but I’m also through with expecting my body to be perfect.

Aside from checking my thyroid to help my body function properly, I need to remember to allow what God says about me sink into my head and surround my wounded heart—all the way down into the depths of my soul.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:13-14

It’s not easy, let me tell you.

Just the other day, I was tagged in a series of church photos on social media.  My church family, Redemption Church Charlottesville (RCC) in Charlottesville, Virginia, was celebrating its launch, so every single person had their phone out, taking videos and pictures.

As I hit “hide from timeline” over and over, I realized I was allowing perfectionism to steal my joy.

Then, as if God wanted to remind me, I read this today:

31 … “Love your neighbor as yourself…” ~Jesus (Mark 12:31)

How am I supposed to love my neighbor or those I’m serving in ministry with if I can’t even love myself?

 I was so proud of RCC and how hard everyone had worked to get to launch day.  Why was I allowing perfectionism to take away a moment that cannot be relived?

I can’t get that moment back. I can make a choice that, from this day forward, I will see myself as fearfully, beautifully, and wonderfully made. Valued.  Loved.     

 The bottom line is, whether I’m a size 4 or 14, my body will never be perfect.  I need to not just be okay with my body but to joyfully thrive and be in love with who I am by reminding myself of who is in love with me.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I better make sure that beholder is Jesus.

Not my warped and unforgiving notions of what is acceptable.

Not the world and its unattainable, counterfeit version of beauty.

Only Jesus.

Thank you, readers, for welcoming guest blogger, Shelly McGraw!

About Shelly McGraw

profilepicShellyMcGrawShelly has a heart for discipleship and spiritual growth, writing weekly devotions for the purpose of equipping the Body of Christ to better serve and follow Jesus. Her encouraging yet thought-provoking devotions are a mix of testimonies, struggles, joys, praises, and everyday life that are overflowing with grace and wisdom.

She has been involved in ministry for over 15 years, serving mostly in worship, youth, and missions. She currently serves in worship at Redemption Church Charlottesville (RCC) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Shelly and her husband, Jason, have three daughters that they homeschool.

Connect with Shelly McGraw: www.shellymcgraw.com Facebook: Lessons of Grace and Wisdom Twitter: @shellymcgraw Instagram: shellymcgraw Email: shellymcgraw.ministries@gmail.com

God Loves A Garden

God Loves A Garden https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/05/16/god-loves-a-garden/

I sit outside early in the morning. A slight chill lingers, but not enough for a jacket.  A breeze circulates the scent of the jasmine and rosemary bushes from across the wall. The birds sing and chatter in the trees in my front yard. The sky turns from deep purple to gold to burnt orange as the sun makes its grand appearance over the mountains. A brand new Spring day has arrived!

Spring makes me think of gardens and gardens make me think of the Master Gardener—God.

The Bible has many references to gardens. There’s the garden of Eden, the garden of Gethsemane, the garden of the tomb, the garden described in Revelation–to name a few.

God does some of His best work in the gardens of our lives turning sin, disorder and barrenness to beauty and fruitfulness. Jesus often referenced seeds, soil, sowing, and other agricultural topics, all of which carry rich meaning in the context of human lives.

I love and admire gardens, but I do not consider myself a gardener. In fact, I think I have a black thumb. However, God taught me a lesson using the rose bushes in my yard that bloomed the most lovely long stem roses. Neighbors and family would remark at their beauty. The thing is, I never intended for them to be long stem roses. I just never pruned them. Honestly, I didn’t know about pruning at the time.

As each month passed, the roses bushes grew larger and taller until they were higher than my fence! That’s when I began to notice that some of the flower buds were not turning to roses. These deformed buds turned hard like a crab apple and never produced a flower. Then there were the aphids and the weeds. The rose garden was a mess—kind of like me on the inside where only the Lord could see.

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” John 15:1-2

God paralleled those unruly and unhealthy rose bushes to festering anger that had turned to bitterness in my life. The Master Gardener was at work, pruning away that which didn’t produce fruit. It was uncomfortable and quite frankly, I was not very happy about it. And I told Him so.

God’s response to me was, “My daughter, I’m not nearly as concerned about your comfort as I am your growth and my glory.”

Ouch!

When we fuss, complain, and sometimes even run from God’s pruning, we are only prolonging the process.

Our heavenly Father loves a flourishing garden and will do what is necessary to achieve fruitfulness. But for this work to be fruitful, we must remain attached to the vine of Jesus.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. “ John 15:5

We will not produce anything of value without Jesus. Things of value require consistent effort and cooperation.

Pruning is painful.

Pruning is difficult.

Pruning is necessary for growth.

When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” John 15:8

Are you cooperating or resisting God’s pruning? Are you producing the fruit of a true disciple?

Please take a moment to ask the Lord.


This post is linked to:

http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=1089

http://www.create-with-joy.com/2016/05/inspire-me-monday-week-228.html

http://www.lorischumaker.com/healing-relationships-medical-missionaries-moments-hope-link-up/

http://www.leahadams.org/the-loft-link-up-pot-luck-5/