April 7, 2008
by Sarah Jennings, Crosswalk.com Family Editor
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (john 8: 44b)
"Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth." Casting Crowns, "The Voice of Truth"
Have you ever been lied to? Betrayal is a pretty awful experience - it shakes our confidence and damages our ability to trust. But, while most of us are quick to feel disgust at the harm done by a blatant lie, if you're anything like me, you fall prey to subtle lies on a regular basis. These lies may not necessarily come from overtly malicious sources but from the well-meaning yet flawed thinking of a friend, the hurtful perception of a parent, a distorted reality promoted by a marketing campaign, or even our own faulty thinking.
Let me share a few examples of lies that have rattled around in my head in the past:
"You're not pretty."
"You're not competent - you'll never make it on your own."
"You'll never be really happy. God blesses others, but not you."
Pretty awful, huh? While I'd never say such terrible things to another person, at some of life's toughest moments, lies like these have masqueraded as truth and threatened to crowd out healthy thinking and good judgment.
As people seeking to follow Christ we need to be particularly sensitive to lies that may have seeped into our beliefs or thought processes. Not only can they send us down the wrong paths in life, but they can greatly hinder our walk with the Lord. In the opening verse, Christ reveals there is one who delights in deception and falsehood, who works hard to keep people spinning their wheels with false beliefs and fears. He is Satan, or as Christ refers to him here, the "father of lies." Deception is his "native language" and his lies prevent you and me from hearing the truth Christ wishes to speak to us.
So how do we discern the voice of truth? How do we know God's voice from the thousands of other voices that bombard us day in and day out? I believe the answer is rather simple (it seems the truth usually is rather simple): Measure your thoughts against God's revealed truth in the Word.
I've found that when I begin acting or thinking in a questionable manner, if I take a step back from the situation and dismantle my thought process in the light of God's Word, the lie is often exposed rather quickly. If my thoughts remain muddy, I am learning to be patient, pray, seek wise counsel, and continue to immerse myself in the teachings of Christ. One truth we can all count on is that God never abandons those who seek Him.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Search your life for beliefs or behaviors that are not rooted in God's truth. Identify scripture verses that speak to that particular issue (I've found typing key words into Crosswalk's bible study tools is a quick way to do this).