Monday, August 3, 2009

Lies and a Retaining Wall

Today I was building a retaining wall and now I know why "blocks" were an integral part of kindergarten! (and who says you never use all that stuff you learned in school?!) Although the wall is not done yet, it's looking good and I'm learning all kinds of new things.

The first step was to get the bottom layer of bricks level and that takes a really long time. After that foundational layer was level and secure, the bricks practically stacked and correctly aligned themselves. Now this unusual activity for me has gotten me thinking about foundations. What are these base level of truths that we believe? What is it we're building our actions and subsequent beliefs off of?

Dr. Chris Thurman has a book called The Lies We Believe and in it he identifies some pretty common ones such as "Life should be fair", "People are basically good", "God's love must be earned", "It's easier to avoid problems than to face them", and "You can have it all". These are all lies I've believed along with ones like "I need everyone to like me", "God loves me more when I'm good", " I shouldn't be making the same mistakes twice", and "My value is directly proportional to my accomplishments"

The tricky part is that all these lies are pretty subtle and therefore not easily identifiable as not truth. What lies do we believe and what impact are they having on how we're building our lives?

If I believe that God loves me more when I'm good then suddenly His love is dependent on my actions. Although I've been saved by grace this lie causes me to live and feel accepted by God by what I do. And if, in my opinion, my works are not enough then God must love me less at some times than at others.

I would have never said that out loud to you. I don't know if I actually realized it myself until I heard the song "What If" by Jason Lavik.

"What if I climbed that mountain? What if I swam to that shore? What if every battle was victorious then would you love me more? Would you love me more? Lord, would you love me more? What if I were everyone’s first choice? What if I went farther than before? What if I stood high above the rest than would you love me more? Would you love me more?

What if I ignored the hand that fed me? What if I forgot to confess? What if I stumbled down that mountain then would you love me less? Lord would you love me less? What if I were everyones last choice? What if I mixed in with the rest? What if I failed what I passed before, then would you love me less?"

And I discovered that was really what I believed. Yes, I do think God does love me more when I'm victorious and stand out from the rest and when I'm mediocre and taking more steps backwards than forward, then He must love me less. I know that's how I feel about myself...

Wow, what a lie.

Realizing that I lived with this as a foundational truth changed some things. I'd been building on a lie and therefore there were parts of my life that were not squared with the truth.

So, is it possible to sit down right now and figure out if everything we believe is really the truth? I don't think so because some of the beliefs we hold to are so deep that we may not even realize the foundational concept on which we're basing our decisions. But as events occur that reveal to you what you really believe, don't be afraid to get out the "level" of God's Word and make sure that what you're believing is really worthy of being foundational in the structure of your life.

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