It feel odd to do this in such a public forum, but it’s time I confront the person who lies to me the most.
Constantly, they berate me and put me down, enticing me to feel worthless. Every positive word and thought I have is countered by them with a negative accusation. If my dreams are sparks seeking to become a fire, they are a bucket of water drowning any hope of a flame.
Who is this person that has such influence in my life and uses it to do so much harm?
If I’m honest with myself, I’m the one who lies to me the most. I’m the one that speaks fear into my life when I want to step out in faith.
Well, part of me anyway. There is a side of me that wants to live in the safety of the suffocating basement, instead of venturing up into challenging light. Not all of me wants that, of course, but the loudest part of me usually does. Is it the same for you?
Sure, others may discourage you, but they aren’t there all the time. You can escape their disapproving glares. It’s a lot harder to leave you behind. But is it impossible? Can you silence your inner critic?
Maybe we can’t entirely mute them, but maybe we can turn their volume down from the deafening roar that they seem to be at for much of the time. To start this, we have to find out where all of the self-criticism is coming from.
In my experience, most of the lies spring from one source belief: I’m not valuable.
It’s not that you want to believe that. You really don’t. You honestly want to believe that you have true, intrinsic worth. But it’s just that … and here you insert your own demon of demoralization.
It’s just that I feel so useless most of the time.
It’s just that so many around me are doing things so much better than me.
It’s just that no one would understand what I’m going through.
It’s just that no one has ever really shown any interest in me.
On and on they go, until we are crushed beneath the weight of the lie and its web. The liar in us wins again.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You and I have been passionately created and loved. It’s not something we earn, it’s something we have. But to rest in that status we have to begin the painful process of digging out the lies by the root.
How can we change that? What can be done to quiet the you that loves to live in fear? You deal with darkness by shining light. Lies are exposed and quieted by truth.
The Lies We Believe and the Truth to Destroy Them
Two lies, more than any other, feed off of and into the idea that you don’t have value. Those two beliefs go in opposite directions, but begin and end in the same spot—a denial of your intrinsic value.
Lie #1: I’m worth more when I do more.
No one says this, but I’m fairly certain most of us feel like this at some point or another. Our attitude toward yourself rises and falls based on our productivity.
I accomplished a lot at work this month, so the company has to recognize me this time.
I was able to get all of my housework done, so my family should love me.
My grades were better this year than ever, surely my parents will approve of me now.
Evaluating your career, academic and daily tasks can be great measuring sticks for your productivity. Evaluating your productivity is a horrible measuring stick for your personal value.
Would you walk into the home of someone who lost a limb in an accident and inform them that they are no longer as valuable as they were before? Obviously not, we recognize that their self-worth is not tied to their doing. It is entire about them being.
You and I are no different. I’m not worth more on the days that I get everything done than I am on the days circumstances keep me from accomplishing as much as I would like. You are not worth more when you cross every item off your to-do list.
Lie #2: I’m worth less when people reject me.
Rejection is an unfortunate part of life that we all recognize is a given, but that does not diminish the pain that results from it. The problem comes when we transfer that pain into an evaluation of who we are.
They didn’t hire me, so that must mean I’m not that good.
He broke up with me, so apparently I’m not worth loving.
I thought this was one of my best blog post, but it only has four pageviews and I’m three of those, so I guess I should give up.
OK, so maybe that last one is just me, but we’ve all had those moments when rejection bleeds over into worth. We start asking if we are good enough as a person.
Would you determine the value of an instrument by its effectiveness in the hands of a beginner? I have no musical skills. At all. It would be a shame to dismiss a violin as worthless because I made it sound like a screeching cat.
Do you look at a half finished painting and inform the artist his or her work is horrible? You shouldn’t because they’re not finished yet. There is still work to be done to realize the ultimate vision.
Our value is not raised or reduced by the rejection (or approval) of others. Our value is determined by our Creator, who knows exactly for what purpose He has created us. No one else has the right to declare our value because we do not fit their needs or desires.
Truth: I am valuable to the One who made me.
All of the lies melt away when we allow this blazing truth to shine through our lives. We are freed from the slavery of popular opinion and seeking affirmation from those who can never truly and completely give it to us. The chains of rejection are blow away. This truth brings freedom.
When you grant anyone, yourself or others, the ability to convince you that you are less valuable, you have committed idolatry and placed yourself back in slavery. You have pushed God aside and told Him that you don’t care that He loves you. It doesn’t matter that He sent His Son to redeem you.
Your critics, both inner and outer, don’t know your true worth. They may see your flaws, but they can never see your future. They often refuse to see much beyond the flaws. Why listen?
The One who especially, intentionally created you, sees you as valuable and has given you intrinsic worth. You are His treasure. He has named you “Sought After.”
Sure those flaws are real, but those flaws aren’t the real you. The real you is the person God is shaping you into, more you and less flaws. More like Christ, but at the same time more like you than you are right now.
You are valuable to the One who made you. That truth conquers all lies, even the ones you tell yourself. Especially the ones you tell yourself.