“Natalie had a bat in her house,” said Jackson, who was sharing his day’s stories from preschool.
His 6-year-old brother Landon groaned from the backseat of my Jeep. “Bats are disgusting!”
Jack continued, “And do you know what Sam had in his house?” He paused for a long moment before landing his story. “A shark!”
“He did not,” Landon said. Then he leaned toward the driver’s seat. “Right, Nana? He did not have a shark in his house!”
“He did, too!” Jackson shouted. “His dad saw it, his mom saw it, his sister saw it.” And though Landon protested the fish tale, Jackson would not relent. He slammed his fists on the arms of his car seat and said it louder still, “Sam said it, so it is true!”
Poor Jack. He’s not alone in being duped into believing that just because something is said, means it is true. Especially when that something comes from the voice in our heads. Tell yourself loud and often that you are an idiot, a failure, or too much of this and not enough of that, and you’ll believe it is true too.
And though Jackson’s fish tale is laughable, the lies we tell ourselves are not. As God’s girls, we must trade in our fish tales for truth! To do so, let’s remember this acronym: TRUE.
T: Test your thoughts. Do your thoughts line up with your emotions and environment, or to the everlasting truth of God’s Word? In Scripture, we learn who God is and who he says we are. Period. Though your thoughts may run wild, his truth does not. It never changes. Let’s use Philippians 4:8 as our litmus test: “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.”
R: Replace lies with righteousness. Truth and righteousness are found in his Word! If you weigh your worth on the scale and say, “Heavy!” Replace that lie with what is true. God says, “Handiwork” (Ephesians 2:10). The world says, “Loser.” God says, “Loved” (1 John 3:1). The world says, “Failure.” God says, “Forgiven” (1 John 1:9). The world says, “Scarcity.” God says, “Source of all blessings. That’s who I am!” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
U: Understand it is warfare. Though you may have traded last minute’s thoughts for truth, the enemy of your soul is not deterred or distracted. He is bent on destroying you and your ministry. So armor up. And keep your boxing gloves gripped to the sword of the spirit—God’s Word. The war is relentless. But good news: You stand in a place of victory! Never forget that though battles may flare up, the outcome is sure. Jesus won. In him is full and final victory! (Ephesians 6:10-18)
E. Encourage others. If you’ve duped yourself into thinking a lie is true, there’s a good chance your friends have, too. Speak truth to yourself and to one another. Help each other test your thoughts with God’s Word. Share what you have learned about replacing lies with right thinking. Then make personal commitments that you will hold each other accountable as truth-tellers. Just like a string is stronger when braided, we are better together. Let’s remind ourselves and our tribe to think on what is true.
When I pulled into the driveway of the place these grands call home, I prayed that anytime the enemy tossed them a lie they were tempted to swallow hook, line, and sinker, they would catch the lie and replace it with truth. And as they grow, may they always remind one another, “God said it, so it is true!”
Writer’s note: All verses are quoted from the New International Version (NIV).
Lenae seeks to see God’s grace on gravel roads and other dusty places. She lives with her husband, Mike, on a Minnesota grain and livestock farm when she enjoys reading, time with grand littles, and early-morning runs on gravel roads. As a speaker and writer, she counts it a privilege to strengthen hearts by grace. Please say hello at lenaebulthuis.com.