If we are to take every thought captive, we must be ready and equipped to replace every lie from the enemy with a Truth from God’s word. There are so many things that we are tempted to believe that keep us from walking in the freedom we were intended to. Here are 7 half-truths that perhaps you’ve faced..
1. If I share my faith with others they’ll see my failures and think I’m a hypocrite.
Ok, let’s define hypocrite… The original Greek word was often used to describe an actor on a stage. In the New Testament it refers to a ‘pretender’…someone who says one thing but does another.
The reason this is a half-truth is because of semantics. Are you a fraud? Or are you a sinner?
There’s a big difference!
Absolutely, we are meant to increasingly turn from our sins as we grow in maturity in Christ. However, if you think for a second that any of us will reach a point where we never sin or fail this side of heaven, then we need to have a chat about the Gospel.
Rather than using your inevitable sins or failures as a measuring stick for hypocrisy, examine what you are portraying to others regarding those sins.
Freedom is found in acknowledging that you are a sinner in need of grace … the initial saving grace that reconciles you to God, and the daily gift of grace that allows you to grow and mature towards holiness.
Freedom is found in being real and transparent with others. No need to air your dirty laundry, simply be ready and willing to admit your sins when appropriate, and to acknowledge your need of a Savior always.
2. All I’ve known is (anger, depression, loneliness…fill in the blank). Even if I could get a handle on it for a while, it would just come back. It’s too deeply a part of who I am.
This is perhaps the greatest tool the enemy used in my own life for so many years. I felt stuck. I genuinely believed I would go to my grave with my issues, I couldn’t even imagine life without them!
This is a half-truth because you have an active role to play in stepping into the freedom God has for you. He will absolutely shape you into who you are meant to be, but you must first be willing to relinquish the comfort of who you’ve always been.
Even in our misery we often find comfort in the known, but resistance to and fear of the unknown.
Freedom is found in trusting that God is bigger than your issues.
Freedom is found in being willing to take a step towards Him when it seems much easier to take a seat in the muck and mire you know.
Freedom is found in being willing to fail and fall, if it means falling into His loving arms.
3. I can’t worship authentically, so why worship at all?
I can’t tell you how many Sundays I stood in worship either not singing certain lines of a song or feeling incredibly guilty for singing them only so no one else would wonder what was wrong. Don’t you know the enemy loves to get us thinking about ourselves and others while our minds should be zeroed in on God alone?
This is a half-truth because God does desire authentic worship! He wants us to either be ‘hot or cold’ but because we are lukewarm he ‘spews us from His mouth’ (Revelation 3:16-17). If our worship is for the satisfaction of others then yes, it would probably be best that we abstain from worship.
If you’re like me though, the feelings of inadequacy during worship are more rooted in thoughts of unworthiness due to our sin.
Here’s the thing … He knows our hearts at all times. Nothing is hidden from Him. He even knows the ways we will sin against Him in the future, and He loves us anyway.
Often we talk about God’s grace that forgave us of our sins when we came to a saving faith as though that grace ended there. Not true!
When Christ died on the cross it was for every sin that would ever be committed. His mercies are new every morning, and that grace extends throughout our life as we continue to sin and come to Him with a repentant heart.
Freedom is found in approaching worship with the understanding that all our attempts at righteousness apart from Christ are as filthy rags. Nothing we have to offer on our own will ever suffice. As long as we are depending on ‘having it all together’ to feel like we can authentically worship, we will be left feeling like a fraud and vulnerable to the lies of the enemy.
Freedom is found in being willing to ask God to search our hearts before we enter into worship, and show us any unrepentant sin. It helps if this has become an ‘as you go’ habit and not an afterthought once the music has begun.
4. So-and so has it all together, I’ll never be able to be like that.
Let me assure you that in every aspect of life, comparison is the thief of joy.
This is a half-truth because there will always be people who are ahead of us in this journey called ‘life in Christ’. Rather than look to them as a source of discouragement, or even something to strive for for that matter, we keep our eyes on God … The Author and Perfector of our faith.
The reality is, we never fully know what is going on in someone’s life.
Perhaps they really are so much farther along as you feel they are. Chances are you have no idea where they have been, and at some point they were likely right where you find yourself now.
Or maybe they are just really good at faking it.
Regardless, another person’s life and faith should never be our aspiration.
Freedom is found in seeing fruit of the spirit in another person’s life, and giving praise to God for the work He is doing in them.
Freedom is found in refocusing our eyes on Christ as our model, and the Holy Spirit as our guide.
Freedom is found in thanking God for the place He has brought us to for now, and praising Him in advance for His ability to bring to completion the good work He has begun.
5. If I trust God to come through for me in some way, and He doesn’t, He’s either mad at me or I don’t have enough faith.
This is a tough one.
It’s a half-truth because no one knows your heart but you and God (and in reality, God alone knows the depths of your heart better than you ever will).
We have so many misconceptions when it comes to asking God to do things a certain way, and what it means when He does or does not.
I talk a little about this here, but we set ourselves up for disappointment when we view God as a genie, and praying in Jesus’ name as rubbing the lamp.
Sometimes, what we’ve asked for is not as great as we think it is. God is good to protect us from ourselves more than we know!
Other times, we simply are experiencing the result of living in a fallen world. Sin has consequence, even though covered by grace. Be it our sin, the sin of another, or simply a result of original sin, there are things we go through in life that are a results of sin.
Freedom is found in remembering that if we are in Christ, there is no condemnation. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our righteousness is found in Christ, and our perception of whether God is rewarding or punishing us by answering our prayers is misguided and misleading.
Freedom is found in trusting that He is good, in all His ways.
Freedom is found in remembering that ‘in this world we will have trouble’, but taking heart that He has overcome this world.
6. I’m just not ______enough to successfully live out the Christian life.
Oh how I wish I could sit face to face with you and hear how you would fill in that blank!
Different seasons of my life would bring different words, but the one that I’d have to say has been my greatest battle would be ‘disciplined’.
I so easily buy the lie that if I could just find the perfect Bible study, journal, atmosphere for time alone with the Lord … If I could just make myself practice a particular discipline for 21 days I could make it a habit.
It’s exhausting. And not at all how God intended it.
This is a half-truth because yes, we have responsibilities in the Christian life. But we are deluded if we think we’ll ever be enough of anything to fulfill those responsibilities on our own.
Freedom comes in acknowledging our desperate need of a Savior, and our continued need to yield to Him as Lord.
Freedom comes in allowing God to do the work in and through us, that we would have nothing to boast in but Him.
7. I know Christ came to die for our sins, but my sin is so great there’s no way I can be forgiven.
Well, that’s just nonsense. And I wish I could say I knew better than to believe this one. But the enemy has a way of making us feel like somehow our sin is too much.
I can’t even call this one a half-truth.
It is 100% lie, plain and simple.
We might weigh and categorize sin here amongst ourselves, but God does not. He is equally offended by the one who lusts as He is the one who strays. We are as deserving of judgement for gossip and slander as we would be for murder. Whether our sin is truly great in the eyes of man or widely accepted as a cultural norm, we all deserve the same judgement. And we all have been granted the same mercy, if we are found in Christ.
Freedom is found in repentance.
We must acknowledge our sin nature and our specific sins before God. We must acknowledge the impact our sins have on our ability to stand before the Lord. We must recognize our need for a savior.
We must surrender our will and our life to Christ, placing Him in His rightful role as Lord. We must rest in the fact that when He said it was finished on the cross … it was finished.
And we must always remember that it is only by God’s grace that any of us receive forgiveness or restoration.
Freedom is found in remembering that God is God … And I am not.