It’s been a minute since I posted here. I was taking a much-needed break and making memories with family and friends. I was also spending quality time in prayer and thoughtful meditation about many issues facing us today.
Let me preface this article by stating I write on familiar topics. I usually have direct experience or engagement with the subject matter. If not, I’ve had some tangential connection, usually someone close to me dealing with the issue.
As I’ve stated numerous times, I am a resident expert on absolutely nothing. I’ve made more mistakes than most, but I do try to learn from them.
That’s why I was hesitant to write on this week’s topic. We know I don’t mind wearing my Kat Controversy crown, but this was somehow different. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to write, and probably prove challenging to read. But I believe God put it on my heart to share, so let’s dive in.
It’s hard when we realize we believed a lie.
We can feel blindsided, stunned. If we’ve built a life around that lie, it can be devastating. I know for myself sometimes Truth can be staring me in the face, yet I’ll continue to dismiss it. I couldn’t have been deceived. I’m too smart for that. I’m not that naïve or gullible. No, there must be some other reason. There must be another explanation.
But there isn’t.
A form of cognitive dissonance takes hold of me as I continue to operate from a place of denying the lie while simultaneously knowing on some level it is indeed a lie. Talk about your mental gymnastics! I’d be racking up the gold medals.
Why is it so hard to face the Truth?
We’ve heard expressions such as truth hurts, and the truth will set you free. I suggest the two phrases could be combined: the truth is likely to hurt, but it will set you free. We just need to get past the hurting part first. And that’s where many of us, especially me, struggle.
In my life this has been particularly difficult when dealing with loved ones. Whether family, friends or a romantic partner, it’s not easy for me to process being the recipient of a lie. If you’re in my life, I want to trust you. If I’m close with you, I do trust you. Perhaps that’s why I can’t fathom you’d lie or deceive. In my mind, I’ve vetted you. Believe me, it’s a detailed, careful screening process. I may know many people, but I’m known by only a few.
I think it’s important to keep your inner circle small. A sad truth I faced many years ago is that not everyone is for you. Not everyone who hangs around wants you to succeed or be happy. People are jealous or unhappy. People are not always what they seem to be.
But in the case of my close associations, I’ve taken time and prayed about these relationships. I should be safe, right?
Nope, we can still be lied to by those closest to us. Maybe we’ve been guilty of lying to people we care about too. I certainly try not to do so, but I’m not so prideful as to believe I’ve never done it.
Now, let’s pivot out of interpersonal relationships to a broader scope.
What happens when our trusted institutions aren’t quite so trustworthy anymore?
Trust is earned not simply given. I grew up believing the government and other powerful entities: healthcare, education, etc. were worthy of my trust. I believed they were, ultimately, accountable to us, so there was a built-in restraint. They had earned my trust because they were supposed to report to me and the rest of the country. Checks and balances.
But I see now I was wrong.
This isn’t about a specific political party or group. I believe there is corruption and dishonesty on both sides of the aisle. There came a time, after so many lies were exposed, where I had to divest myself of the notion that they were telling the truth.
As an adult, I’d been a little skeptical. I knew powerful people typically have self-serving interests. I just thought their interests weren’t in direct opposition to mine. They may have aspirations and great designs for power and money, but I thought they still had a cap. There were some lines they wouldn’t cross because of the damage it would do to those around them, to the world.
Once again, I was wrong.
I tried clinging to the lie that they care about us for as long as possible. But there was my old friend Truth, being a gentleman, occasionally gently tapping me on the shoulder or whispering, “Turn around.” I wouldn’t do it. Because I knew facing this Truth was not just going to be hurtful, it was going to permanently change me.
When I could deceive myself no longer, I turned toward Truth. And it was more upsetting, disappointing, saddening and maddening than I could have possibly imagined. I grew up in a household that had great love of God and country. I still loved God, but my country might be another story. Though I still love the God-inspired principles upon which the founding documents were created.
No one wants to believe the worst about someone.
I want to live cautiously optimistic, not jaded and negative. But when lies are exposed, you must deal with them. It won’t be easy, but I promise you, if you seek the Lord’s help, He will set you free.
Don’t believe me? Great, you know I brought receipts. (Any and all Bible verses, unless otherwise indicated, are from biblegateway.com NKJV, emphasis added.)
The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. (Proverbs 12:19)
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish. (Proverbs 19:9)
You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. (Psalm 5:6)
Ouch! There are many other verses I could have included, but I think you get the point. God cannot stand lying. As upset and angry as I’ve gotten when I’ve discovered I’ve been lied to, that’s nothing compared to His view on it.
Shouldn’t this not only discourage us from telling lies, but also encourage us to avoid staying in them?
Once the lie is exposed, we are now willingly participating in it, aren’t we? If we keep going along with it, aren’t we a liar too?
Yes, I know it may be uncomfortable to break free from the lie. It can be so painful you may even feel as if you can’t go on. You may feel crushed. I do know what that is like. What I can tell you is the only way I made it after I stopped clinging to a lie, was facing Truth.
See, here’s the thing about Truth. It’s not mine or yours. It’s so much more than that. Check this out:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
Jesus is Truth. So, when you let go of the lie, you turn and face Him.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
How do we release our hold on a lie?
We turn to Jesus. We seek Him in His Word (the Bible). He offers us His Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us. We have unfettered access to Truth! But first we must separate from the lies. There may be a time of grieving for being deceived, for the pain of living in a lie. God understands. He will comfort you and help you get past the pain.
It may not happen overnight, but I promise you, once you stop clinging to the lies, your life will change for the better. Once you realize there’s a God who cannot and will not lie to you, who loves you with an everlasting love, it makes the disappointments of this life seem not as soul crushing.
If you haven’t, please make today the moment you invite Jesus into your life and your heart. He longs to spend time with you. He’s with you even when you don’t believe in Him, but He’s a gentleman. He won’t force Himself on you. But the second you invite Him in, He’s there. He’s always there, but now you’ve given Him access.
It’s the best decision I ever made. Over 25 years later, I can safely say without His love, I wouldn’t be here. And I wouldn’t want to live one moment without Him in my life. Even though I’m still stubborn and can still cling to a lie now and again, He’s still there, patiently waiting for me to come to the end of myself. And that’s when I begin to live in freedom.
Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know. Let go of the lies.
Look forward to hearing from you.