The truth is this: I believed the lie. Not the lie that I told, but rather, by telling the lie I was protecting myself. It was a good lie, as far as lies go. Obviously this is an oxymoron, but it was easy to believe.
After I wrote The Girl Who Wouldn’t Speak I began to recall some details that I’d inadvertently left out; details that I felt were even quite important to the story. When I went back and corrected my omission, this was the portion that I added:
“Trouble has a way of following you though, and it did in this new transition. Not long after I settled into my new class, a student from my former school (my old class even) was introduced as a new student.
Fear rose up in me again when I realized that she might share that I wouldn’t speak. I was right. When she questioned me in front of the other students, I lied to protect myself. I insisted that I’d had laryngitis and that I wasn’t able to speak. She seemed skeptical, but she dropped the subject. I was then finally able to relax a little.”
Yes, I lied.
Even when I wrote my account of these events, I almost believed the lie that went through my head: “Good for you, you stood up for yourself.” Really, I hadn’t stood up for myself in the slightest.
Maybe it felt as if I had, and maybe I believed that I was fighting back, but in covering up the truth, I was instead believing the lie that I had something to hide.
That innocent little lie (I’m using innocent facetiously here, of course.) turned into more lies: I didn’t measure up; there was something wrong with me; I was just awkward; I wasn’t worth knowing; I just didn’t fit in; I wasn’t attractive enough or bright enough, and the list went on.
Lies kept me from seeing any potential in myself.
That lie kept me isolated, lonely, and insecure in who I was. In fact, any identity that I should have had, I’d lost entirely.
That lie would keep me hyper focused on myself and unable to move beyond my comfort zone. Fear would become my master and I would continue to believe the lies until I started to follow Jesus, who began the work of systematically debunking every lie.
Lies are insidious; they bore deeper and deeper, and they spread like wildfire.
It was pride that caused Satan to get the good ole boot in the backside; it was the lie that he could and should be God. (Isaiah 12:14-1) Not only does he lie, but he also believes his own lies. He is the father of all lies. (John 8:44 )
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” –2 Corinthians 4:4
While we’re believing his lies, Satan is our master.
When we believe Satan’s lies we become slaves to sin–sin being, the things that are contrary to God’s will for us. Lying itself is a hated sin. (Proverbs 6:16-19 ) In fact, the very first sin on earth was sparked by a lie that Satan told to Eve. (Genesis 3:1-7 ) Believing one lie lead to the fall of mankind.
Speaking of Sparks…
In the Book of James, the tongue is compared to the rudder of a boat. Much like a rudder, which a pilot uses to steer his boat, the tongue too has the power to lead us one way or another.
“Though only a small part of the body, it makes great boasts, but a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” (James 3:4-5) This means that it only takes a small lie or wicked speech to start a blaze.
“And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.” —James 3:5-6
Think about this: a forest fire is a distressing ordeal for everyone involved, namely those whose homes are being threatened or destroyed. It’s also a distressing and tiring task for all of the firefighters who are hard at work trying to keep the fire at bay. It only takes one lie to set a person’s life on fire like this, and many workers to attempt to put out those flames.
How the truth Sets us Free
When I learned about Jesus, the knowledge that I gained about who He is and what He came to do, set me free. In trading the truth for lies we also trade our sorrow for joy. (Isaiah 61:1-3 )
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” –John 8:32-32
Instead of living a life that’s an uncontrolled blaze of lies, my heart and soul have been set on fire for God’s truth instead.
A truthful witness can start a fire of a very different kind.
This is a controlled and focused fire, much like the controlled burn which firefighters use to burn away dry vegetation that could potentially act as fuel to feed a future wildfire.
A controlled burn can even aid the environment by stimulating the surrounding flora.
Sequoia seeds, for example, remain dormant until fire breaks down the seeds’ outer coating [source: Science Daily]
This is the kind of fire we want in our own lives: a life that is devoted to God, protective and preventative, having the potential to benefit and stimulate growth in the people around us.
The struggle is real, however, we can take comfort, that God never lies. What He promises He will do (Numbers 23:19) He helps the weak; sets the captives free; and opens the eyes of the blind. (Psalm 146 )