I am so excited to be part of the Overcome the Lie blog tour this month! Overcome the Lie exists to empower a generation of women to overcome the lie because Jesus overcame the grave. What lie? The lie that you aren’t good enough, beautiful enough, valuable enough. As they say in their About page, “We know that when it comes to you, all those things are lies and they have no power. And we believe you can overcome them because Jesus overcame and He lives and breathes in you.”
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I’ve believed a lot of out-and-out lies in my life. Like, ridiculously absurd lies that don’t make any sense. Great example: I’ve spent the better part of 10 years chasing 10 pounds on the scale. For some crazy reason, I’ve believed that the amount of pounds on my body shares a direct correlation with the amount of worth in my life, as if being 10 pounds lighter would be the magic elixir to make my life more productive, more attractive, and generally better. This is such a stupid lie. First, because I’m already at a healthy weight. And second, because the only thing that will happen when I’m 10 pounds lighter is… being 10 pounds lighter. And yet I’ve believed the lie that I’ll be “good” when I’ve arrived at that goal, and I’m “not good enough” as long as I haven’t reached it.
That’s a lie I can look square in the eye and call its bluff. I can logically make sense of the fact that my body weight does not have anything to do with my inherent worth.
Which is why I think the most dangerous lies I’ve believed aren’t the whoppers. I think the most dangerous lies I’ve ever believed are the wrong ends of half-truths.
Ever since I first noticed that my dad was way older than all of the other dads, I’ve been terrified of losing him. He turned 52 two weeks after I was born. This year, he’ll turn 80 two weeks after I turn 28.
I’ve spent most of my life hyper-aware of this situation. Not in a sensitive way – it never bothered me when waitresses would remark that it was so nice for my “grandfather” to take me out for dinner – but in a way that made me constantly afraid that I’d have to say goodbye too soon. It’s a fear that has eaten me alive for as long as I can remember.
The thing is that it’s not a completely irrational fear. There is truth in it: my dad really is older than most other dads of people my age. He has a higher likelihood of dealing with age-related health concerns. That’s a fact. But it’s only half of the truth.
The other half of the truth is that my dad’s age isn’t the deciding factor in how long he lives. God is the one who lovingly plans the number of our days and allows them to come to an end. When I live in the fear of losing my dad too soon, I forget the most important aspect of all truth: God is sovereign. He gave me to my parents for a specific purpose. He knows how long He’ll allow me to have them, or them to have me.
There are so many wonderful things that have come from having a dad who is old enough to be my grandfather. He understands what matters in life. He has never left any room for me to wonder whether or not I matter to him; he’s told me and shown me a thousand times over. He has a healthy perspective that comes with age.
I also have a healthy perspective that comes with his age. I’ve never taken any time with him for granted, never let a chance go by to tell him that I love him. I cherish each birthday and holiday that comes and goes with him still here. But when I believe the half-truth that I’m about to lose him, my perspective takes a nose dive and all I can see is fear.
Half-truths tend to be like a see-saw: either up or down. The side that’s lifted high up in the air is life-giving. It helps us to see the truth in perfect clarity and joyfully embrace it. Then there’s the down side, the one that often whacks us with a firm thump when we arrive on the ground. That side will steal every inch of life we give it.
When I’m on the down side of the Dad see-saw I’m afraid of the future. But when I’m lifted up high? I can clearly see that I’ve been given a gift to treasure, and I can trust the One who gave him to me.
I think Jesus speaks to this nature of truth in John 16:33. He says,
“In this world you will have trouble.”
He tells us point-blank that life on earth is not going to be easy. We will have trouble. That’s not negativity, and it’s not a lie. It’s a fact.
But we don’t have to stop there, planted on the ground in the see-saw of life. We can choose another way. Because Jesus completes the verse with the side of truth we need to hang onto:
“But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
That half of the verse is just as true as the first half. More than that, it overrides the first half by rendering it null and void.
The trouble we endure isn’t the end the story. Jesus overcame it all because of His great love for us. We don’t have to live in fear of current or future trouble because Jesus overcame this world. He tells us to take heart. He tells us not to worry. He has overcome, and as His children, so have we.
And wouldn’t life be so much better if we actually believed that and lived like it was true?