I have, from time to time, been known to believe lies. The world is certainly full of them and if we hear them enough they override the truth of God. Where this really becomes dangerous is when we internalize the lies. I’m hard pressed to come up with a lie more destructive to our hearts than “I’m not good enough” but I’m sure there are others just as damaging.
There has been a lot of press given to the lies women believe about their bodies: that we have to be skinnier, have perfect hair or dress, walk and talk a certain way to be acceptable or find a husband or be a good friend. Even more press has been given to the influence of media on female self-esteem/self-image issues, and how such things can lead to body image disorders, eating disorders and so on. Those are destructive. We criticize magazines, tv, video games and on and on. Once we are aware, hopefully we can try to watch out for that influence in our own lives, in our daughter’s lives and in one another.
What I currently see happening in the lives of some, though, is different. It’s not “I wish I looked like that model.” It’s far deeper, far more personal, and just as difficult to combat. It’s sneaking up on us, and I don’t think it is just about women. Â These aren’t the lies told by media. These are the lies told by other people. Sometimes it is verbal, sometimes it is implied, sometimes by a glance or by being blown off. What happens when our friends, coworkers, spouse, Bible study leader or pastor don’t seem to think we’re good enough? That model may be thinner than we are, but she’s on a page in a magazine, not in front of us telling us that we aren’t what she expected us to be. It’s wholly different to feel we’ve let down a loved one, a friend, or someone you respect.
Depending on others for our self-worth, for our confidence is not a new struggle. But where does it leave us when those we trust, see everyday, need respect from tear us apart? I’m watching it happen and what I’m seeing is that it leaves us gasping. It leaves us flailing blindly, struggling for a support that isn’t there. That weakness, that hole, that my friends is precisely where the Bible should fill in.
I challenged a friend the other day, who was feeling “not as impressive as those other folks,” to tell me three scriptural truths about herself. She gave me maybe 2.5… but texted me bright and early that next morning with the things she was reading in the Bible as true of her for that day. Things true of her self, redeemed by Christ’s blood, full of His Holy Spirit, things she could cling to today. My hope and prayer is that she’s clinging instead of flailing, and my challenge to you is to be prepared. Know ahead of time what truths are for clinging, so that when the lie comes loudly you need not doubt yourself. What truth will you believe?