release the lies--embrace the truth





The truth will set you free



Many of the things we believe were learned in childhood and based on the beliefs of our parents, teachers, pastors and other adults believed. But are those beliefs based in truth?

I recall a story about a girl who saw her mother preparing dinner and ask why she always cut off the ends of the roast. Her mother said that was the way her mother prepared roasts when she was a child. So the mother called her mother, the girl's grandmother and asked her why she always cut off the ends of the roast? The grandmother replied, "My pot wasn't big enough to fit the whole roast, so I cut off the ends."


"We do what we do because we believe what we believe." ~~Dr. Paul Carlin, Sr.


How can you get the life you want?


Change the way you think. That's the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We work to figure out whether what you think/believe, and then takes steps to change your thoughts, to change your behavior. It works. Definitely. But it can be hard to figure out how to change deeply held beliefs without help.


So here's some help!


As children, our parents, teachers, and church leaders taught us that we would be rewarded if we were “good”, and punished if we were “bad”, and this became one of our core beliefs.


If you're good you get rewarded, and if you're bad you get punished.


But as we became adults, we saw something different. People were rewarded for bad behavior, while people who were good seemed to be punished, or worse not rewarded for good behavior. I have spoken with many Women of God who were distraught over the fact that they had lived pure lives and served God for years, yet hadn't received the reward they desired, a loving husband and family. However, they saw MANY other people find love, get married and have a children without ever having served God, or even trying to live right and they conclude that Life is not fair!


This seeming injustice robs many Christians of their joy, and causes conflict in their spirit. Their core beliefs about life (God) not being fair can cause a lot of emotional pain and spiritual distress.


I have done all that God asked, so why hasn't He bless me with the desire of my heart? I've been good, so where's my reward?


As Christians, this and many other commonly held core beliefs are in contradiction with the Word of God and what He tells us about about grace, mercy, favor, and forgiveness. When someone does something "bad", they may not be punished--they may be forgiven. They may receive God's grace instead of punishment. When someone does something "good", they may not receive a tangible reward. Instead, their reward may be in knowing they pleased God or responded as Jesus would have.


So, what happens when our core beliefs say Life (God) should be fair, but reality doesn't line up with that belief?


You have a choice. Either change your belief and accept the truth, or stay stuck in the Fairness Lie.


Truth--Life Isn't Fair.


How do we reconcile the conflict between what we were believe and what the Word teaches us to do as Christians.


Good question.


It seems that our belief in what is FAIR and “good vs. bad” has become the source of the emotional pain and suffering that Christians, and most other folks, encounter as adults. The sadness, depression and disappointment come when we realize that not only are we not always recognized and rewarded for doing good, but we often receive what feels like punishment, instead. To add insult to injury, the “bad” people seem to be prospering, enjoying life and receiving all the blessings!


You scream, “God-It’s not fair!” But, who said life was fair?


If you read the Bible, you quickly realize that life is seldom fair because it’s full of examples. Jesus, the best example of total and complete goodness, was constantly mistreated, maligned, abused, and talked about. Job, a good and honorable man, lost everything he valued—kids, home, money, and his health. David, after conquering Goliath and saving his family and village from mortal danger, was sold into slavery by his brothers. Elijah, who stood up as the only prophet for God against 450 prophets of Baal and Jezebel, had to run for his life and hide in a cave. John the Baptist, a good man devoted to teaching and preaching the Word of God, was beheaded.


Was any of this fair?


No. Then why do we, as Christians, stumble when we encounter obstacles in life? Because of the contradiction—whenever something in our life contradicts a strongly held belief, there’s always going to be a problem. The sources of most of our problems are the lies we believe (core beliefs).


"A lie is as powerful as the truth, if you believe it." ~~ Dr. Paul Carlin, Sr.


Whenever our core beliefs are based on lies, it can cause us to falter, and depending on how strong or deeply held the lie, we can be shaken to our very foundation, to the point where we question our faith, turn our backs on God and the church, and even doubt whether we truly believe in Jesus. The lies we believe are the source of our suffer


A prominent relationship guy ran into issues in his marriage. He accepted Christ, and expected things to all work out in his favor. Instead, he said his life "fell apart." His belief was ruling his behavior and unfortunately, it was the Fairness lie--if I accept Christ and live right, I should be rewarded. Four months later, he had turned his back on God, given up on his salvation.


Are we surprised? No. Because Jesus is not a genie in a bottle waiting to grant your wish if you accept Him. Accepting Christ and being saved is much deeper, and all our lies will be challenged. The Fairness lie, challenges new and mature Christians.


The truth about life being fair is the exact opposite of what we are taught as children, and many still believe. Jesus was very clear and purposeful in saying we, as Christians, should expect hard and difficult times, and should be prepared to receive the opposite of what seems right and fair.


Where do we go from here?


Identify and let go of the lies that are causing you so much pain. Life isn’t fair. Good Christians get sick, good Christians get divorced, good Christians get robbed, and good Christians get cheated. Challenging situations will continue to occur as long as you are living. But remember, for those who believe, the answer is very simple. Regardless of how difficult the circumstances, God is still on the throne, and nothing, nothing is too hard for God.


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-45


Check out the books listed below, challenge the lies you believe, and seek the truth in the Word of God.

1. The Lies we Believe by Chris Thurman

2. Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus and Marie Chapian

3. For Lay Counselors, consider studying Belief Therapy with the Therapon Institute and obtaining the Belief Therapy Certification


© SophiaAvery2010


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CHALLENGE:


TRUTH is not always brutal or real. TRUTH can also be loving and pleasant!


List 10 good things about YOU. This is an exercise I used frequently to help boost self-esteem. If you can't think of 10 good things about you, try harder. You're awesome in your own way!