Day 14 – Beliefs vs. Convictions: Part 2

John 16:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5

Today I want to share a story from my life that serves as a good, though mild example of false convictions, and how believing these lies caused others to react to me in ways that made me believe the lies even more.

I grew up with three older siblings’two sisters, ten and eight years older, and a brother six years older. We were very close and spent a great deal of time together. My relationship with my siblings shaped my identity; it’s how I understood who I was and what role I played. In a little over a year, when I was twelve years old, both my sisters married and my brother moved away to attend college. I experienced agonizing loneliness and identity disorientation. While none of my siblings had done anything wrong nor intended to hurt me, I was hurt nonetheless.

There I was, wounded and confused, isolated and lonely. Here he came’the prince of this world—with two murderous lies. The first one was, “No matter how much people act like they love you, they will leave you and hurt you!” The second was, “You thought you were so likeable; better try a lot harder!” You can see the quality of the lies. There will be times when people who love me will leave, but not because they were pretending or there is something inherently wrong with me. Some people will not like me, but not because I’m unlikeable or need to earn their approval or affection.

When I bought into those two lies it produced some specific behaviors. As I got older, some people approached me because they were interested in knowing me better or having a relationship of some kind. When they did, the first lie would kick in and, to protect myself, I would be very guarded. (Imagine me stiff-arming these people to keep them at a distance.) Or I would meet someone that I thought was interesting, whom I would like to get to know better, and the second lie would kick in. So I would try way too hard to get those people to like me. Of course, when I stiff-armed people, they left. And when they left, I thought, “See, I knew it; these people who pretend to like me leave me!” Lie number 1 affirmed and solidified. And when I tried way too hard to get others to like me, they rejected me. Then I would hear in my heart, “Still not good enough . . . better try harder next time!” Lie number 2 affirmed and solidified. Believing lies creates behavior that solicits reactions that affirm the lie.

Actually, I was confident; I believed I was likeable and I believed people wanted to be friends with me and not leave me. But I was convinced otherwise. What to do? Tomorrow . . .

Closing Exercise

Ask God to show you specific, recurring behaviors in your life which are born out of wounds and lies. If appropriate, discuss these among your group and pray for one another to receive healing and truth.