30 Jul Old Hag – When Whispered Lies Are Louder than Truth
I felt like a failure as a writer, truth be told, and her success mocked my longings to write and be heard.
“You’re not talented,” it whispered. “Why do you even bother? It’ll never be enough. You’ll never be enough. You’re mediocre, you’re dreaming foolish dreams, and her words are what people really want to hear.”
I don’t know her at all, this writer whose words mocked me. Yet in that moment I allowed Satan’s whispers of my perceived inadequacy to turn my heart against her.
Why do I allow the successes of others to make me feel like a failure? Why does a comparison game get to tell me what I’m worth?
I looked around the conference room as hundreds of chatting women took their seats. Professionally dressed and perfectly made-up, they looked so poised and confident. Meanwhile, I was fighting a lump in my throat and had already texted my husband, “I’m ready to come home.” I felt like an outsider, a feeling that took me back to third grade awkwardness.
I didn’t belong, at least not in my head, and that’s all that mattered in the moment.
I felt invisible, truth be told, and their self-confidence laughed at my knocking knees.
“You aren’t worth seeing,” it whispered. “Why do you even bother? It’ll never be enough. You’ll never be enough. You’re forgettable, you’re nothing special, and there’s no room here for you.”
I don’t know their names, those women whose self-assurance mocked me. Yet in that moment I allowed Satan’s whispers of my perceived inadequacy to turn my heart against them.
Why do I allow my perceptions to become my reality? Why do whispered lies get to tell me what I’m worth?
One of Satan’s greatest ploys in the lives of women is to convince us that we are unimportant, ineffective, and irrelevant. And because he knows our individual weaknesses, he knows exactly where to strike. He whispers his venomous untruths into the areas we hold most sacred – our dreams, our worth, our relationships…
His lies are rarely outlandish. If they were, we would recognize them as such and call his bluff. Instead, he combines his lies with the truth we haven’t cemented in our hearts and causes us to question whether anything is really true. He is a roaring lion stalking us so silently we often don’t hear his sneak attacks.
I wish I had a surefire solution for you. I’d love to tell you I’ve solved my problem of listening to whispered lies, but then I’d be a liar myself. I’m still working on it, and these are the verses I’m praying.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
My task (and yours)? Lay aside the encumbrances – those comparisons and small untruths that can derail us. Lay them aside, giving them no weight in our lives. Lay them aside, moving them out of the path that contains “the race that is set before us.” My race doesn’t look like yours – and it doesn’t look like those of the people I compare myself with. Lay aside the encumbrances and then, just this: fix our eyes on Jesus. When our gaze is on Him and Him alone, we don’t have the need to look around us at others. We don’t have the desire to one-up anyone – we only desire to lift Him up.
Jesus is the author of our faith, but He is also its perfecter. Our faith in its beginning is rudimentary – incomplete, immature, and as imperfect things often are, inaccurate. Only Jesus can sustain our faith and deepen it, bringing it to maturity and, ultimately, perfection. When whispered lies become our truths, we are pushing aside Jesus’ perfecting power and choosing to encounter encumbrances and sin.
Jesus wants to speak to you today and every day and to replace the lies with truth. Donald Miller says, “God’s involvement in our lives is often obvious when we look back. The trick is to believe He’s involved right now.” That’s the only secret I have – believing Him in the now. Look for Him in the now, listen to Him in the now, and allow every now to be filled with His truth.
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