My heart raced and tears threatened to spill over my eyes if I didn’t blink them away. What’s the deal? Why am I so afraid of saying something?
“I feel like I’m a burden to you. Like everything I do is a burden on you. There’s just no way I could be a joy at all.”
I finally got up the courage to say it. For what felt like weeks, I had been plagued by the lie that my presence was far from a joy to my boyfriend.
If you’ve ever felt like a burden on someone, you know that mentioning how you’re feeling is the last thing you want to do. It would just add to being a burden, right?
“That’s not true at all.”
It didn’t change a thing. I felt exactly the same.
Sure, we had more conversation beyond that, but hearing that it wasn’t true wasn’t the anecdote necessary to defeat the lie. Why? I think deep down I knew it wasn’t true, or else we wouldn’t be dating to begin with (I would hope).
I was convinced that I added nothing of value to his life and everything I said or did was an annoyance or burden to his otherwise breezy life. I knew this wasn’t fully true, but I also didn’t know what was true.
It wasn’t so much that I needed to hear that I wasn’t a burden as it was that I needed to hear the truth: I was a joy to him. He chose me because he genuinely enjoys me.
In the last part of the “Live Free” series, we started to unwrap our grave clothes. The problem with unwrapping our grave clothes is that it is not enough to call a lie a lie, we have to know what is true.
We’ve spent time recognizing lies, calling them out, and seeing the grave clothes as they are, but we need truth. The lies need to be replaced with a powerful Truth.
As you begin unwrapping the grave clothes that still cling to you and threaten to give you a false identity, speak this truth. I encourage you to read the scripture that accompanies these statements that show you your true identity. God’s word is the anecdote we need to heal us from the lies.
This is who you are:
You are loved (1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:10, Romans 5:8)
You are created for a purpose (Philippians 2:13, 2 Timothy 1:9)
You are gifted (1 Corinthians 12:6-11)
You are blessed (Ephesians 1:3)
You are chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
You are blameless (Romans 8:1)
You are adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5-6)
You are redeemed (Psalm 71:23, 1 Peter 1:19-19)
You are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7-8)
You are an heir (Romans 8:16-17)
You are royal (1 Peter 2:9)
You are holy (Colossians 3:12)
You are unified with each other and with God (John 17:20-23)
You are powerful (Acts 1:8)
You are a conquerer (1 John 4:4, Romans 8:37)
You are alive (Ephesians 2:4-5)
You are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
You are one with God (John 17:23)
You are anointed (1 John 2:20, 2 Corinthians 1:21)
You are a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)
You are fearless (Romans 8:15)
You are victorious (2 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:57)
You are courageous (John 16:33)
You are free (John 8:36)
You are known (Psalm 139:1)
You are accepted (Romans 15:7)
You are mature (2 Corinthians 13:11)
You are being transformed into the image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18)
You are not an afterthought (Psalm 139:17-18)
I challenge you to spend more time taking in this truth. Read it every day. Memorize the verses that directly combat the lies that you hear. Spend more time reading the truth than listening to the voices of the world, the accuser, other people, your experiences, and yourself.
I dare you to make a practice of this every day and see what God does.
But I also dare you to take a look at the things in your life that need to be cut out or changed so that you may center your mind on Truth.
Where in your life can you add more sources of truth? What friendships need to be centered on speaking the truth more than speaking gossip? What music do you need to listen to so you are constantly hearing the truth? What influencers do you need to follow or unfollow on social media? What YouTube videos, TV shows and movies do you need to cut out or specifically watch so that nothing you are watching feeds into the lies you are fighting?
If you struggle with comparison, stop following people on social media that push you into a pit of comparison. Maybe that means you need to give up social media all together until you are able to healthily participate.
If your friends aren’t speaking truth into each others’ lives for the purpose of solidifying each others’ identity in Christ, start speaking truth or seek friends who will.
If music makes you fall into thinking patterns of your old self, turn it off or pick something different.
We have to be vigilant about re-wiring our brains to focus on truth and that means that truth needs to be the loudest most consistent voice in our lives.
Living in your new identity in Christ takes a lot of work. What Christ did for us is free, but everything in us will want to run to everything but Christ again and again.
Truth will not simply fall in our laps so that we believe it and thus walk in freedom forever. Truth is something to fight for.
How will you fight for truth?
Preparing For Battle
While it is so freeing to know who we are, we need to face the reality that we won’t always believe it. We just spent time removing grave clothes and now we’re free (and naked). Our fully alive selves are exposed and free to live in this world. But it’s not that easy to go streaking through the world in your “new creation” self. Remember the voices of other people, the world, the accuser, and our experiences? They don’t suddenly stop or turn positive when we know who we are.
It’s all still there. Your past hasn’t changed and your present world hasn’t changed. But you have changed and the way you engage in the battle for your identity can change too.
Ephesians 6:12-13 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.”
We are living in a battle every single day. We need armor. But what armor can we use that will help us fight a spiritual battle?
We need the full armor of God so that we can stand firm no matter what circumstances befall us in life.
No amount of nice compliments, positive self-talk, gratitude journals, praise from people or encouragement from friends will give us armor strong enough to fight this spiritual battle. While those things can be helpful, we must first run to the Creator of a strong and impenetrable armor.
So, let’s put on our armor. Piece by piece.
Join me for the next series: “Wearing the Armor of God” where we will walk through each piece of armor, how we can put it on every day, and why we need it for the spiritual battle.