I had a spontaneous insightful conversation with a friend this evening. Shout out to Raeann Morelli! We were talking about internal lies and how to deal with them when they come knocking.
Rae mentioned she had recently heard it said (and I may butcher this), “shoot a bullet of truth back at the lies…” There was more to the thought I’m sure but what we see here is a philosophy that is essentially combative – when lies shoot you shoot them back with truth. When lies slap you on the right cheek slap them right back. When lies poke your eye out, poke their eye out. When lies ask you to carry them a mile, refuse them! After all, you are a child of God!
You see, it is interesting, in Matthew 5 Jesus tells us to love our enemies and we agree, until the enemies are within and then we decide it it better to hate them, sorry, “shoot” them.
What if we loved not only our external enemies but also our internal enemies? What if we loved our lies?
Yes, I’ve heard and felt lies that were obviously from the enemy. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the nagging lies that haunt us – lies about our self worth, God’s faithfulness, our future or our past, lies that we habitually combat hoping they will go away. These lies, though not void of the enemy’s influence, are often more about our deep suspicion of God’s goodness and our worth that we just can’t get past.
Honestly, I’ve spent many years trying to fight the lies and it is exhausting, time consuming and ineffective. Why? I think it is because lies are enemies waiting to be loved so they can become neighbors. Often the habitual lies of self worth and the goodness of God are just fears that need to be heard, cared for and loved. We want them to be lies from Satan so we can refute them with scripture, cast them back to Hell and move on with our day, but actually they are more like Zacchaeaus in the tree, Bartimaeus on the sidewalk or the woman with the issue of blood. They are often crying out to us not against us.
Practically, loving your lies looks like accepting what they say. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:39, “…if someone strikes you on the right cheek give to him the other also.” Why? Because when you let them have the other cheek you are saying, “I’m not your slave.”
When the lies come next time, hear their words, write them down, sit with them and let Jesus come along side you, maybe in the form of a trusted friend. Combating lies is like pissing in the wind. Better yet, it’s like punching a tidal wave, but when we love our lies and carry them to Jesus in prayer they lose their power over us and reconciliation begins.
Let us love our lies as Christ has loved us.