OUR INTERNAL RECEIVERS pick up messages as we move through life. These “messages” shape our perception of who we think we are. Was there a certain kid who teased you as a child, a negative statement repeated from a family member or friend? Or perhaps you suffered some type of abuse. How did your mind interpret those internal messages or events in your life?
I am the middle child of three girls. Both my older sister and younger sister always performed very well in school. School work seemed easy for them. I, on the other hand, had to work hard for the good grades I made. Math was my most dreaded subject of the school day, while recess and lunch were my favorite parts of the day! Because I struggled in school and my sisters did not, I grew up believing I was not smart. No one in my family ever told me I wasn’t smart, nor was this idea verbalized from anyone at school. It was a lie my mind chose to receive and believe about myself.
The enemy of our souls loves to get into our minds with deceitful messages which have the capacity to cling like sticky sap to an old pine tree. Is there a lie of Satan’s you’ve bought into? Is a negative, internal message still adhering to your mind like sticky sap?
Perhaps you interpreted a bully’s words in middle school which led you to believe that you’re unattractive, dumb, or inferior. Maybe a boss berated you and made you feel as if you can’t do anything right. Or, and probably the most damaging, maybe you grew up in a household where a parent was verbally abusive. No matter the lie, truth always wins.
The good news is, there is another voice also seeking to stick in our minds. If you are a believer, it’s the voice of the Holy Spirit, and He’s telling you, You are valuable to Me. With My power working in you, you can achieve more than anything you could ever ask or imagine.
Now that’s a truth I want to hold onto to.
So, why is it we tend to listen more to the deceiver’s lies than to the voice of truth?
Recently, a young quarterback who helped his team win the 2019 National Football Championship said, “I put my identity in what Christ says, who He thinks I am and who I know that He says I am.” It sounds to me like he is listening to the voice of truth instead of those around him who are spokesmen for the deceiver. I can’t help but wonder if his parents didn’t have something to do with teaching him about his identity in Christ at an early age.
I think about those early formative and impressionable years in school. Kids and adults can be so cruel. There has been much talk about teasing and bullying because the consequences of such behavior have been quite tragic. As a School Counselor, I hear about bullying from about every child I work with.
Parents, we must help our kids navigate through these hard places so they will emerge stronger, not weaker. We must help them understand that Jesus is so much more than an imaginary superhero. He is our Protector, our Defender, the One who shields us from the enemy’s attacks. Instead of dwelling on the lies, we need to teach our children how to focus on the Voice of Truth. The Voice of Truth comes through loud and clear when we meditate on and know God’s Word.
I believe most negative messages begin during childhood, as mine did. If they are not combated with truth early on, children will grow up believing lies about themselves which will also affect their perception of themselves as adults. As I began to combat the lies with truth, I soon realized I was not dumb. I discovered we all have different ways of learning, and we also have been created with different talents.
Even if school days are a distant memory for you, you could still be believing a lie received from a negative internal message. What message are you holding on to? Truth or lie? My prayer is, if you are still operating out of a lie, verbal or non-verbal, that you will begin to tune in to the tender voice of the One who created you fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:13-16). The Voice of Truth is waiting for you to listen – to learn the truth about your real identity in Christ so you can live the life He designed you for.