A few years ago I was going through a devotional with some
high school girls I was mentoring. I can’t remember the book, but I can remember
the chapter that changed my thought life.
As Christians we’re taught to “take every thought captive to
make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) so we can get really good at
recognizing the lies that we tell ourselves. And for us singles in the crowd,
we’re especially aware of what they are.
has forgotten about me.
- I’m not _______________ enough to get married.
messed up so badly, who would want me?
Sometimes when it comes to my
thought life, recognizing and calling out the lies isn’t so much the problem.
Here’s where that chapter comes in: Recognizing the lies is
only half the battle. In the absence of the lies you have to fill your mind
with truth. When I learn to
identify false ideas about who God is, I can’t just leave that space in my mind
blank. If I do, it will get filled again with more lies. I have to fill up
that space with truth — truth about what the Bible has to say about God’s
character, His promises and His heart toward His children.
For some reason the second half of the equation had never registered for me. So now when I find myself thinking something untrue, I
call it the lie that it is and then find Scripture that validates the truth.
Here’s what it might look like.
Another bouquet of roses gets delivered to the reception
desk at my work. (You didn’t think I’d fail to mention Feb. 14 on the
Boundless blog, did you?) Spending Thursday as a single, I start to think, Of course I don’t have anyone to send me
flowers. There’s obviously something fundamentally wrong with me, and I must be
unmarriable . . . or even
undateable, for that matter. I might as well succomb to my fate
as the Single Girl and stop hoping that marriage and motherhood is part of
God’s plan for my life.
Clearly, these are all lies
that I’ve believed at one time or another. So after I’ve called these what they
are, I’ll replace them with some of these truths from Scripture.
- “The Lord your
God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He
will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
- “And the God of all
grace, who called you to his eternal
glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will
himself restore you and make you strong, firm and
steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).
- “The Lord is faithful to all his promises and
loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up
all who are bowed down. The eye of all look to you, and you give them their
food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every
living thing” (Psalm 145:13-16).
- “By faith Abraham, even though he was past
age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he
considered him faithful who had made the promise” (Hebrews 11:11).
If I find my thoughts consistently going to one
kind of false belief, I’ll make it a point to study Scripture for truths that counteract that belief.
In college I read the Psalms and circled the word good every time it
described God, because I started to look at my circumstances and doubt God’s
goodness to me. I often go back to Deuteronomy and Hebrews to be reminded of
the Lord’s faithfulness to the Israelites and to remember His hand of provision
at work in the lives of the great men and women whose faith was of great worth.
Sometimes music can help me fill in the gap once
I grab hold of the lies. Shane and Shane, Jeff Johnson Band, Audrey Assad, Gungor,
and Rich Mullins are a few that come to mind.
How do you
recognize lies, and what helps you replace that gap with truth?