There are two basic root lies that I believe all human beings suffer from believing. They are as follows:
- I'm not...(fill in the blank)
- I can't...(fill in the blank)
As a young child I began believing a lie that haunts me to this day. The lie was that I was not good enough. This lie was fed, both intentionally and unintentionally, by how others interpreted who I was in addition to what I thought about myself.
I can remember one of the very first instances that this lie was fed. I started playing hockey a little later than some of the other kids I grew up with, and because of this, I initially struggled with skating. I would be provided with extra special on ice activities during our practice time in order to help me potentially grow in my skating ability. The additional instruction was great, but it also unintentionally ostracized me from the rest of the team. I became a target of ridicule and scorn. Thankfully I used this as motivation to grow and develop my skating ability, and by the end of the season that year I became one of the better skaters on our squad.
I learned to manage this lie but letting what others thought of me fuel me to succeed. If someone told me I couldn't do something, I set out to prove him or her wrong. While the determination and competitiveness may be admirable in seasons, it can also be destructive. There are moments when I am completely driven towards an end goal that I can intentionally or unintentionally bulldoze my way through both people and problems.
All of this stems from one lie that I chose to believe...and it makes me wonder how many more of us wrestle with the effects of this same lie?
I'm fascinated with both the written and unfolding story of God. There is a section of the story that carries with it a twist that I find both helpful and inspiring when I come face to face with the reality of the lie that I chose to believe. In this unfolding scene, God reintroduces himself to humankind in an interaction with one central character named Moses. Moses, as you may know, was someone who has a storied past. He found out that he was adopted into the royal family in Egypt, and the family he knew was actually enslaving the family he was biologically connected with. Confronted with this new emerging truth, Moses unintentionally murdered an Egyptian slave master for physically assaulting a Hebrew slave. Moses fled the community and settled into life in a rural setting away from the pressures of his past.
It was in this moment that God decided to interact with Moses through a most famous sequence of events beginning with what the Bible refers to as a burning bush (something that was on fire but not being consumed). During their interaction, God invites Moses to be a part of His unfolding story for the enslaved people in the land of Egypt. God asks Moses to lead His people to freedom. Moses, skeptical of the situation, begins to provide God with a litany of excuses as to why it wouldn't be such a great idea to have him lead the enslaved people to freedom. A discourse ensues, and when Moses finally agrees to be a part of God's unfolding story, he asks God one simple question: Who will I say that you are? The people of Egypt believed in many gods, so knowing which God was legit would have been key to understanding his emerging role as a freedom fighter. God responds with the Hebrew word Yahweh, which means, "I am."
Here is the miraculous phenomena that takes place when we allow ourselves to be introduced to God, and become lifelong friends with Him...we get the benefit of being associated with His true identity. God, as defined by Himself, is the great "I am." Who He is stands is stark contrast against the root lies that we as humans seem to believe. Because God is, we are. Think about that for a moment. If I believe that I'm not good enough, but God is, then if I allow myself to see myself as He is, then I am and I can instead of I'm not and I can't.
This mental shift is way more than just an adaptation of flawed human logic, it's a way of seeing life for what it is truly meant to be while embracing the concept that our lives are like unfolding plot lines that are connected with a greater unfolding story that the God who is authors.
Maybe you don't believe in God, but He believes in you. You are because He is. Fight the lie and embrace the truth.