September 17, 2019
Angry, Anxious or Depressed? Your Core Lies Are Trying to Get Your Attention
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31-32 (ESV)
When I was 14 years old, I discovered my mom was an alcoholic. And not only did I discover this, but I decided in my earnest innocence I would confront her about it. Then just like on the talk show I’d seen where an intervention turned to hugs and help and joy, my mom would realize her addiction and the pain she caused, and there would be hugs and help and joy.
But it didn’t turn out like that.
I confronted my mother about her drinking. She just laughed at me.
My words and feelings meant nothing, and the conclusion I subconsciously made was that unless I was taken seriously, I wasn’t worthy of love. This lie, which I didn’t know existed, played itself out time and time again in my relationships. When I felt dismissed or I couldn’t get a reaction from a boyfriend, I would lash out, manipulate and wound with my words. The lie controlled me.
Jesus, on the other hand, said these words: “… the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
As children, we make observations about the world we inhabit, and because God gave us minds to think, we make conclusions about what we see. But our conclusions or interpretations are often incorrect, just as mine were. What I didn’t know as a teen (but what I learned later) was that I was believing a lie and it had infected my whole life.
Jesus tells us if we abide in His Word, we will know the truth and it will set us free. “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32).
And what is the truth?
The truth is that God loves us so much He sent His only Son to die for us so we would have eternal life. The truth is that Jesus comes to our rescue. He not only saves our souls, but He gently pursues our hearts, heals the broken places and binds up our wounds. The truth is that our worth and value is only dependent on how Christ sees us, and He sees us as righteous. We are loved, always.
I believed the lie I had to be taken seriously to be loved, and when someone didn’t meet my subconscious demand that they take me seriously, I manipulated them and hurt them because I didn’t know what to do with my pain.
When I learned the truth that my worth and value is not determined by someone else’s view of me, I was set free. It took time, but eventually that lie lost its power over me, my interactions with others, and my children. (If we don’t deal with our lies, we will put them on our kids.)
We all have core lies, but the good news is that if we recognize our core lies, they will lead us to the gospel of good news: Jesus is the only one who has the authority to tell us who we are, and if we are His, we are loved and secure forever. How others view us does not determine our worth. Only Jesus determines our worth.
If you’re not sure what lies might be holding you in bondage, but you want to know and be set free, then pay attention to what makes you angry, depressed or anxious (fearful). Our lies reveal themselves when the landmines of our hearts are stepped on.
Ask God to show you, and then you can begin replacing the lies with the truth in God’s Word. That’s the truth that will set you, and the generations after you, free.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your truth sets us free — especially when we’re aching and searching and desperate for the light. Help us, Lord, to keep hold of hope and to believe in Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 3:1a, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (NIV)
How do you forgive when the wound is still open? How do you deal with your mess of emotions when you’re in a tangled-up relationship with a loved one? If you’ve struggled with a difficult relationship, or felt torn-up, crazy and confused because of it, this story is for you. The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts by Sarah Mae answers these questions as she shares how she learned to love and forgive her alcoholic mother. Learn more and get The Complicated Heart at thecomplicatedheart.com.
Looking to avoid passing dysfunction on to your kids? Get Sarah Mae’s free download, “4 Ways to Be a Generational Bondage-Breaker” when you head HERE.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What makes you fly off the handle? What thoughts make you fearful or depressed?
Spend some time in prayer, asking God to show you where you can replace the lies with the truth found in His Word. If you’d like, share a prayer with us in our comments section.
© 2019 by Sarah Mae. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks B & H Publishing Group for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.
Originally published Tuesday, 17 September 2019.