Didn’t mean to abandon those of you joining me in the Lies Women Believe* book study! Sorry! I usually post a chapter review every other Tuesday, but this week has been a bit tiring for some reason. I think my thought capacity and internet time have been consumed by the situation in Japan and by the problems we are having with Cora’s teeth (post coming soon). I did post a helpful blurb related to the chapter on Tuesday though, so check it out if you missed it! On to the rest:
Chapter 3: Lies Women Believe… About Themselves
The previous chapter talked about how our perception of God’s character affects our character and our actions. The next few lies Nancy Leigh DeMoss covers are examples of how, ” if we believe things about Him that are not true – invariably, we will have a distorted view of ourselves.”
Lie 7: I’m Not Worth Anything
If this is a lie that you believe about yourself, whether because someone else has told you that it is true in some way or because you just don’t see that you have value, please take the time to read these Scriptures:
1 Peter 2:4
In our discussion at Bible study this week, we talked about the criteria that we and others (wrongly) use to determine the value of a person. Things like economic status, gender, race, education/accomplishments, physical beauty, and our roles in our homes (wife, mother). These are not the criteria God uses.
Think on this: We are so precious to God that even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
Lie 8: I Need to Learn to Love Myself
The problem with this mindset is that it leads to self-centeredness. We already love ourselves, or we wouldn’t take care to clothe, feed, and even pamper ourselves. If we didn’t love ourselves, the command to love our neighbor as ourselves wouldn’t make sense.
Furthermore, if we are focused on finding things to love about ourselves, we are likely to overlook our “un-lovable” parts – our sin. And if we do stop to recognize our sin while in this mindset, we may buy into lie #7 and feel that we are unlovable and unloved.
Lie 9: I Can’t Change the Way I Am
I have struggled, for as long as I can remember, with what some would call a “victim mentality.” This has not only meant that I often view my character struggles, habits, etc. as a result of what I have or haven’t had in my past, it also makes me prone to blame current problems on others. I snapped at my husband because the kids made me tired. I snapped at my kids because my husband didn’t keep them from annoying me while I worked. I have a tendency to covet because there were times in my childhood when I faced real need. Almost anything can be blamed on someone or something else.
If we believe that we “are” something or another or that our actions are an automatic result of outside forces and circumstances, then we have bought into this lie. The truth is that we have been made NEW and are not simply the combined result of our past experiences! We also have a God who can change us!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Lie 10: I Have My Rights
The Declaration of Independence declares that we have “certain unalienable rights.” These rights are “endowed” to us by our Creator. This philosophy isn’t new, nor did it originate with our (American) founding fathers. But is it Biblical? If you’re interested in a little history, the wikipedia article on natural and legal rights is a fun read.
One of the ways the serpant deceived Eve in the garden was by convincing her that she somehow had an “unalienable right” to the knowledge of good & evil. Obviously that was a lie as God has expressly said the opposite. So what “rights” do we really have?
When we use the term “right” loosely, as in “I have the right to a few minutes of peace & quiet after a long day with the kids,” we really mean to say that we have earned that right. We know that we are not deserving of anything, but rather everything we have is a gift (not earned – by definition).
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” James 1:17
Praise God, he gives us MANY gifts! He also calls us to give many gifts to others, loving them as we love ourselves. In our sinfulness, we want to claim rights as if we deserve them, rather than view them properly as His grace. Is it any wonder that we have a hard time giving up the things we perceive as rights? We don’t want to give them up because we think that they are hard earned!
Jesus actually had inherent, unalienable rights as God incarnate, and yet he yielded them for us!
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
Lie 11: Physical Beauty Matters More Than Inner Beauty
Even if we say we believe the truth that” it’s what’s inside that counts,” our actions and attitudes sometimes betray the fact that we place too much value on our outward appearance. Notice, I did not say that we shouldn’t place ANY value on it – we are created in His image and physical beauty is part of His gift to us. We can see His majesty reflected in the beauty of His creation. Beauty isn’t purely physical though. Most of us could use these verses taped to our mirror:
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
1 Peter 3:3-4
Lie 12: I Should Not Have to Live With Unfulfilled Longings
Can I tell you that this lie snuck up on me? I sometimes wonder in frustration at the fact that I always want more. Sometimes it’s not even that I am greedy or want more for myself, just that every time I “arrive” at a new destination, with new knowledge or another blessing (like a new child, new friend, etc.), I see that there’s still more that I want. In some ways this inspired hope – life can always get better and more exciting – but sometimes I’m frustrated for not feeling contented with what I have.
The corresponding truth is liberating! The truth is that in addition to the face that every earthly thing (and person) has the potential to disappoint me, not even the most wonderful blessing will ever fulfill me because I long for Heaven!
“Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:23
I will always have unfulfilled longings. Wow. Rather than being discouraging, recognizing this truth has helped me to re-examine the real objects of my desire, and take comfort in the promise of eternity. I highly recommend John Piper’s Future Grace* for more on this. I need to read it again!!
How are you doing? Which of these lies have you found yourself buying into most? Have any of them been particularly challenging?
The next post in this series will hopefully be up on time. I’ve already read through the next chapter, just need to put my thoughts down. I’ll be honest, this has been quite a task! I’m committed to continuing now though, I think it will be a good resource and I *know* it’s good for my thought organization!
*Amazon affiliate link