The Long List of Lies
My spiritual director encouraged me to spend some time praying
about Mark 1:11 in which God our Father says to Jesus, "You are my
beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." I've never had trouble with
the fact that our Father was 'well pleased' with Jesus but I stumbled
on the thought that He might be well pleased with me. How could that
be? I had a long list, in my heart, of all the reasons that God
couldn't possibly be well pleased with me but, as I began to dissect
the list, I could see that it was a Long List of Lies because God's
Word said otherwise and God's Word is Truth. Here are a few entries
from the List of Lies. Maybe you have others.
- "I'm not good enough." That seems to be the Accuser's number one, all-purpose, one size fits all lie. He doesn't usually have to go much farther than this. He has variations on this theme, of course: "I'll never amount to anything." "If others only knew how stupid/poor/weird I am..." "I'll never get this right." and on and on. But that sick litany is throttled by Psalm 139 which goes to great lengths to assure me that the opposite is true. God himself "knit me in my mother's womb" and I am "fearfully and wonderfully made." God is the only Person who never makes mistakes so I cannot possibly be one.
- "I don't deserve to be forgiven." By the time I was 24, I realized that there wasn't one Commandment that I hadn't broken. Either willfully or unintentionally, I'd run through them all in ten short years. I'd lost myself in a tangled morass of lies upon which our Culture of Death is based. At the point of realization and confession, the Accuser could see that valuable ground was being lost to him in my heart so he whipped out the "you don't deserve" lie. Jesus adeptly trumps this lie by saying, "This daughter of mine was dead but now she is alive again." (Lk 15:33).
- "It's all my fault." The flip side of this lie is the belief that I'm in control and, if I'd just done more or better or differently, I could have brought about a better outcome. The truth is that I am not in control, God is. This lie is a subtle form of false humility and so has the Accuser's paw prints all over it. There are many Scriptures which address this lie but the one that helps me most is Paul's admonishment to "Look to Him and be radiant with joy that your face may not blush with shame." In looking to Christ, I acknowledge that He's in control, not me. What relief!
John's Prologue tells us that "The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it." By unmasking the darkness of the lies that the Accuser throws in our paths each day, we can live more easily live the Light that is Jesus.