Morning friends,

The temperatures are dropping, even in sunny Arizona. This week I am in Canada for training and would appreciate your prayers. I’ve invited Jean Jones to share with you her journey on conquering lies with God’s truth. 

If you missed my free webinar on How Long Should You Keep Trying and How will you Know the Change is Real, you can catch the replay right here – but only for the next 72 hours. Click here to watch it.

 

 

How to Conquer Lies with Truth

Jean E. Jones is a co-author of Discovering Joy in Philippians,
Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament,
and Discovering Hope in the Psalms.

She blogs at JeanEJones.net.

I grew up believing lies. Adults told me many of them. For instance, when I reported that my father had tried to kill me, my mother shouted, “You’re a horrible person for saying bad things about your father!” Granted, I was mistaken about his intent: a violent temper was the culprit, not murderous goals. But I believed her accusation. Later, my father told me, “You might think you’re all goodie-goodie, but you’re not. You’re whatever I say you are, and I say…” Even into adulthood, I continued to think, “My father said it, so it must be true.” Thankfully, God didn’t leave me stuck in those lies! 

Still other lies I told myself, such as that it was okay to fib about a friend who had hurt me. And I acquired false beliefs, including that Jesus couldn’t have anything to do with God.

Much later, I realized that everyone struggles with determining the truth. After all, the media contradict the Bible’s claims about the source of joy by pushing us to pursue happiness in people, possessions, positions, and pleasures. Adherents of false religions or secular philosophies shout to be heard. Spouses, bosses, and friends tell us things about ourselves that sometimes aren’t true. Even those who grow up in Christian homes can conclude that they’re good people and not really sinners like everyone else.

Additionally, crises can cause Christians to question their beliefs about God’s good care.

Why We Struggle with Deceit

Our struggle to distinguish truth from falsehood harkens from more than just living among intentional liars. The prophet Jeremiah explains: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Our hearts deceive us so we can feel good about ourselves. We sin and fall short of expectations. That feels bad, so we tell ourselves things that make us feel better, like justifying ourselves while condemning others. Or, when life is easy, but disaster befalls someone else, we calm our fears with the notion that bad things happen only to people not living right (Job 12:5).

As if self-deceptions aren’t enough, the Bible says the devil, that father of lies, schemes against us (John 8:44; Ephesians 6:11). As he deceived Eve in the Garden, so he strives to deceive us.

But the Bible tells us that falsehoods are like flimsy, whitewashed walls that promise peace and protection they can’t deliver against life’s storms (Ezekiel 13:8-16).

The Solution

Thankfully, Jesus gave us the solution: “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). He explained that everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin, but he can set people free from it. Instead of relying on deception to believe we’re better than we are, we can turn to Jesus to cleanse us from sin and resurrect us into glorious bodies.

Abiding in Jesus’s words means knowing his words, believing them, and obeying them. Abiding isn’t something we do once, but something we maintain continually. Replacing lies, doubts, and fears with truth take continually immersing ourselves in truth. Click To Tweet

How do we do that? Here’s a tool to help you abide in Jesus’s words and defeat deceptions.

The Truth Journal

A truth journal helps you abide in Jesus’s words so that you can know—really know—freeing truth. It can be as simple as a sheet of paper on which you journal truths. That’s what my husband used when, as a teenager, he feared losing salvation.

I often want more room than a single sheet can fit, though. Consequently, I set aside space in a journal. I tag the first page of the section with a Post-it Note so I can turn to it quickly.

Here’s how you can create a truth journal.

List Scriptures

List the scriptures that tell you the truth about the lie you want to defeat. Also, write out Scriptures that tell you how God wants you to act. Number them so you’ll find encouragement in how many truths stand against a lie.

For example, when a crisis showed my childhood beliefs about my parents’ judgments still affected me, I wrote this in my journal:

Isaiah 51:7-8

Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts. Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment. The worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations.

This assured me that the righteousness that God gave me was eternal and couldn’t be destroyed by people’s fading false accusations.

Write Truth Statements

Next, write down what the verses you copied tell you about your situation. Number them too. Also, write down how you will obey any commands. Here’s one of the truth statements I wrote in my journal:

It is okay to speak the truth about a person who is wicked or weak or ignorant—it is okay & right to think the truth about these people.

Complete “Think on These” Thoughts

Philippians 4:8 reads, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” So the next thing to go in the truth journal is a list of what to think about your situation.

For instance, here’s what I wrote in Discovering Joy in Philippians about abusive situations:

What is true is God sees all, what is noble is praying for the wrongdoer’s salvation, what is right is forgiving as God has forgiven me, what is pure is refusing revenge, what is lovely is Jesus’s compassion for victims, what is admirable is helping others through similar situations, what is excellent is we cannot lose anything of eternal value, what is praiseworthy is our resurrected bodies will have neither sinned nor been sinned against.

In the book, I give examples of many situations, but you can see a general idea here.

Record a Prayer

Finally, write a prayer of trust and hope in God. Describe your troubles and fears, put your trust in God, ask for help, and praise God for his good care. Having a written prayer that you can turn to daily during a crisis can calm your heart with peace even as it helps you place your hope in God.

Abiding

When you’ve created your truth journal, turn to it anytime falsehoods, doubts, or fears assail you. Read through your list until you find the truth that calms you.

Abiding in Jesus’s words leads to knowing freeing truth. Use your truth journal to help you abide in Jesus’s words.

Friends, what truths have freed you from lies in your life?

 

Jean E. Jones is a co-author of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament, Discovering Joy in Philippians, and Discovering Hope in the Psalms. She is a member of Women in Apologetics, an organization that helps women answer objections to faith. Jean has published on Crosswalk.com and in Today’s Christian Woman and Home Life. She’s happily married to her high school sweetheart, Clay, an associate professor of Christian apologetics at Talbot Seminary. They live in Laguna Niguel, California, and once were foster parents to three preteen/teen girls. Jean loves trying new foods and enjoyed rooster claws and century eggs in Asia.

Connect with Jean on her blog at www.JeanEJones.net and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

18 Comments

  1. Free on October 9, 2019 at 7:30 am

    What freed me is realizing only Christ could bear the weight of other people’s sin. It was his burden to bear, not mine. Quite frankly, my shoulders are not strong enough to bear it and I can’t know the heart of man like the Lord does.

    This freed me. My husband’s crazy, evil behavior was not my problem to fix. My shoulders were never designed for such a burden. Therefore, I am free. No need to try to fix anyone or be a victim of their sin. Not my problem, never was, never will be.

    • ladieharris on October 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      I love this. It truly helped me put a lot into perspective

    • Maria on October 10, 2019 at 3:10 am

      Great wisdom! Thank you for sharing!

      • Tintax on October 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm

        The day i received this gift of truth and how it set me free, my shoulders literally felt lighter, they had been so tight!!
        I left my h in the capable hands of our Saviour, stopped interfering with His work. M developing skills to deal with his manipulative and ‘playing victim’ tatics in a manner that surprises me. Also using the ‘observe and don’t absorb’ technique as I deal with his sympathizers! Grateful that I’ve learned to stand in honesty and in truth. The truth sets free indeed! M growing!
        Thank you Leslie, Jean and whole community of such amazing support

        • Libbie on October 10, 2019 at 3:16 pm

          Tintax,

          I was wondering your advice on how to handle the “playing the victim” tactics when your husband uses them?…. Since I moved out and separated from my husband in February, he has had some health problems and had to have shoulder replacement surgery. He recently found out he may have to have an additional surgery. I feel sorry for him, and when he talks about the difficulties that he is having, and how he feels alone and abandoned (even though in the heat of anger, he was the one that told me to leave)….I feel guilt for not being a helper. How do I handle this to not absorb it? Do I “tune it out”? I try to quit giving him the opportunities to whine to me by limiting conversations, but it always seems to happen…

          Thanks in advance for the help!

          • Karin on October 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm

            Hi, Libbie. Can i chime in here while you are awaiting Tintax’s response? 🙂 (thanks, I was hoping you’d say “yes”)

            It’s very important for you to keep in mind that the reasons you separated from your husband are because of his enduring patterns of destructiveness and abusiveness toward you. Nothing to do with his limited capacity, or having to “nurse” him through a time of sickness.

            It is too bad that his physical body is causing him pain, and perhaps limiting his movements, but there are clearly medical interventions in process to help him with that problem, and after a time he should be doing much better. I think we would all hope that for him. A lot of that of course will be how the surgery goes; a lot more of that will be how he decides to work well with his physical recovery plan (doing the exercises, etc). Hopefully he will chose the best path in doing that. He likely will, since it’s too painful FOR HIM not to be healed of this shoulder injury.

            HOWEVER, It has taken you to have to move away to get his attention that you have been hurt and wounded by HIS behaviours over the years. And as you write, he’s still sympathy-seeking, and blaming your for his bruised feelings (alone, abandoned, so sad, not able to fend for himself).

            You are NOT GUILTY OF DOING ANYTHING WRONG OR HURTFUL TOWARD HIM by maintaining your healthy boundaries, and working on getting whole, healed and healthy from all the wounds he has imposed on you. You are not obligated to be his caregiver – health and rehab programmes help people who live alone work that out after surgeries. In fact, he is showing evidence that if you did return ‘because you feel sorry for him’, he would be subjecting you to the same destructiveness you have worked so hard to leave.

            Be wise. “Sympathy” will drive you back into the destructiveness. “Empathy” (much healthier) will allow you to care that he is recovering from surgery (that’s hard on anybody’s body!!!), but not press you to be the solution to his problems. Take best care of yourself, Libbie.



          • Libbie on October 10, 2019 at 5:11 pm

            Thank you so much, Karin for the reminder and boost of confidence!



          • JoAnn on October 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm

            Libbie, I fully agree with what Karin wrote, and I would like to offer a suggestion for how you might respond when your h whines about his situation: “I’m sorry you are hurting. I’m sure that you will improve, and that you have the wherewithal to get the help you need. Your recovery process is totally in your own hands.” Express confidence in his ability to handle his life, and don’t offer anything more. Now he is bearing the consequences of the life he has lived, even while you are working to recover from his abuses. Are you planning to divorce?



          • Aly on October 12, 2019 at 10:51 am

            Libbie,
            I agree to what Karin and JoAnn have both posted.
            I’m sure it’s really hard to see that he doesn’t ‘have you’ to step in and care as a wife could given these circumstances in his physical health.
            Biblically speaking our physical health isn’t the most important area as opposed to our spiritual health and condition of our soul.
            Often times where our spiritual health is, is reflected in how we treat others, what our actions are, what our words are to another.

            Your husband is experiencing the extended natural consequences of sowing and reaping. He’s reaping the consequences of his previous behavior, this is my hypothesis not knowing your situation.

            I’ve had a similar situation about the physical health of someone I have separated from being in the presence of, and I feel bad for this person, but I choose to align with what God is most concerned with, our hearts.
            Given our circumstances in the world, we all are deteriorating and none of us know what tomorrow will bring.
            I take this for granted often given my plans I make each week, but ultimately I want a heart that shares love and value toward the most sacred people in my life given my season.



          • Libbie on October 14, 2019 at 11:56 am

            JoAnn, You asked if I planned to divorce….It looks like it’s heading that way. He filed because after me being gone from the house for 7+ months, he said he is lonely and “this is no marriage at all”. He wasn’t pressuring me to move back, but was pressuring me to “work on the marriage”. I said we had our own issues to work on first. He said he felt like if we don’t try to stay connected, we will drift apart and may not be salvageable. He wants dinner dates and deep conversations. I feel vulnerable having deep, significant conversations with him because in the past, they are held against me sometimes. I feel like spending time together with the kids all as a family is too confusing for everyone. I don’t know.
            That’s the long answer….the short answer is yes, we both have attorneys and have paid retainers. We disagree on the time sharing of our kids, which has delayed things. We also keep putting pauses on things when we are getting along, and it only delays the inevitable pain I guess. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.



          • JoAnn on October 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm

            Libbie, (Oct 14) This looks like a situation where you need to have some firm boundaries in place if you need to be able to coordinate with him over child care and other things. If you still find that you love him but just can’t live with him, then work with your counselor to develop some realistic boundaries, and insist that you each work with a therapist to deal with your own issues. What you need from him is a heart change, and even if he is saved, that doesn’t mean he is actively asking the Lord to change him. Behavior change doesn’t go far enough. If he is looking for a check list of behavior changes, that isn’t going to work.



  2. Blessed on October 9, 2019 at 9:03 am

    “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Beautiful and faithful words.

  3. Robin on October 12, 2019 at 10:58 am

    John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    This verse helps free me because it is a constant reminder that all the emotional abuse and unfaithfulness from my husband is temporary. No thing, no person, no circumstance can pluck me out of Jesus’ hand.

    • Nancy on October 13, 2019 at 9:22 am

      ME too, Robin. This passage (and other verses that reassure me that I cannot lose salvation) also help me to stand firm in my boundaries and requirements for healthy relationships. There is nothing that I can do to lose His love for me!

  4. Free on October 15, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Sometimes the biggest lies we have to conquer are the lies we tell ourselves. Lies like I can help my spouse get better or they will change if I just wait and pray more. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies as we wait and hope with magical and unrealistic thinking. We lie to ourselves and say that things aren’t really that bad or that we are responsible in some way for our part in the bad marriage.

    • Free on October 15, 2019 at 5:12 am

      Proverbs 16:17. Good people protect themselves from evil. By watching what they do, they protect their lives.

      • Free on October 15, 2019 at 5:24 am

        Keep the evil people whether spouse, sibling, neighbor, parent or in-law out of our lives. Keep them out of your money, out of your bed, out of your children’s lives, and out of your mind. What ever is good, whatever is pure, whatever is holy, think about such things. Let evil keep company with evil. We are children of the light, so let’s live and celebrate in it. Have the courage to flee evil, no matter what the social relationship dictates as an obligation.

        • Amanda on October 16, 2019 at 8:45 am

          If we continue to hope an evil person will change their destructive behavior towards us and at the same time stay in a unhealthy situation, then we have moved into the realms of denyial

          I have done this for years but I am learning that being honest with myself about the ugly reality is the way forward to heal with God’s help.

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