How does this picture relate to lies?
I was helping weed the garden last night and came across a little cluster of Californian Thistles.
The seed must have floated over from somewhere else.
As I was pulling them up I noticed the roots extending out in all directions, so I followed them along too.
I tried my hardest not to break the roots, so that I could find all of the places that were infected – nobody wants thistles infecting their garden!
It’s actually quite interesting (if you weren’t already hooked 😉 ): the Cali roots were about 10-20cm below the surface and had little thistles growing directly upwards, all the way along them. So they were growing, below the surface, well before I could see any sign of them above ground.
Can you see where I’m going with this…?
Thistles are prickly, nasty things that, when we come in contact with them, hurt us.
Lies are also prickly, nasty things that, when we come in contact with them, hurt us.
Now do you see it?
As I was following these roots along, I couldn’t help but see the connection to the lies I tell myself – one leads on to another and another and another… until all I can see are the lies.
One little lie might seem harmless to start with, as it hides under the surface, undetected.
But as that lie stays with you, as you repeat it over and over in your mind, other little lies start to grow from it.
Some, we see the effects of more immediately. Others, lie under the surface – still with their perfectly formed little spikes, doing damage – waiting.
And the over-simplified thing is: they wouldn’t grow if we didn’t feed them.
But we do. We do feed them.
Our thoughts are one of the only companions that is with us, pretty much, 24/7 (give or take some unconscious/sleeping time).
That’s a LOT of exposure.
And you know, we pick our friends… but sometimes, we forget to pick our thoughts.
Given the amount of time you’re spending together with your thoughts, you might want to stop and remind yourself of some truths.
Some great advice that I was given is (when you notice that you’re beating yourself up) to STOP and think, “I have a CHOICE… I can choose to believe that I am….[useless, boring, doing a bad job]… or I can tell myself the truth, which is that I am… [still learning, adventurous at times, able to make a conscious effort to improve from now on].” Then, you choose.
And depending on how many lies you’ve told yourself, or how deep the roots go, you might have to go back to the beginning and STOP yourself again and again.
I, for one, had/have a hard time of thinking of some of my good qualities (not begging for a pity party here by the way 😉 ). So I get stuck going, for example: “I can choose to believe that there’s nothing good about me, or I can tell myself the truth which is that I am….[blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank].”
Sometimes it can help to think of how a good friend, or significant other, would describe you – even if you don’t feel that way right at the moment, it’s definitely a quality you possess (even if it is rarely). “Does X find me funny?… sometimes… Do I care about people around me?… Yes…” Well, there’s two qualities right there! “I can choose to tell myself that there is nothing good about me, or I can tell myself the truth, which is that I am funny and I am a caring person.”
It takes (and is going to take) a lot of practice. But it’s a habit we all need to get into.
The habit of truth telling.
Like I’ve said, we spend most of our days with our thoughts whirring around in there, so we need to make sure we’re being kind to ourselves through them.
There’s a famous biblical principle which goes: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31)
The principle is perfect. The application – not always so.
Remember how cruel you can be to yourself with those lies you are throwing around ‘up there’?
Imagine how awful that would be to be saying those things out loud to other people!!
That’s not how we love other people… so that’s certainly not how we should love ourselves.
The Bible also touches on the history of lies and Satan’s role in them.
John 8:44 refers to Satan as the “Father of Lies”, while John 10:10 explains how he (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy.
I find it fascinating how lies steal our happiness, kill our hope and destroy our self-esteem. But seeing the link in the line above, I’m not surprised.
Before psychology was ever dreamed up, the influence of our thoughts was documented thoroughly:
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” – Proverbs 12:25
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
There are so many more, but I feel like I could spend a whole other blog on those.
“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 8:31-32.
“Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” – John 14:6
We could all do with a little more truth in our lives.
A little more gentleness.
A little more love.
So to recap:
Start filling yourself with truths.
STOP the lies you are telling yourself and CHOOSE to believe the truth instead.
Truth, real truth, will make you free.