We all deal with falsehoods. They come to us throughout life, and we are most impressed by them when we are young.
Thankfully, we know the truth sets us free and in Christ we are free indeed (John 8:32). He begins to untangle the webs of deceit that so long entangled our hearts and minds. For me, there was a lot of untangling to be done.
For example, growing up, I wasn’t the most popular kid, especially during those awkward elementary and middle school years. First, I was painfully shy and so this crippled me with forming relationships with others. This eventually led to convincing myself I really didn’t need anyone anyway. Add to this my parents’ divorce, and I simply learned how to operate within broken and fragmented relationships.
I recall appreciating the Simon and Garfunkel song, I Am A Rock. For those not familiar with it, the ending lyrics are, And a rock feels no pain and island never cries. So, you get the gist of how I chose to live most of my adolescent years.
Cutting myself off from relationships created a rebellious heart that deep inside craved love and affection, but outwardly hardened to others – never getting too close. Never letting anyone truly in.
This was the biggest lie I believed, but as I grew, it evolved. It manifested to be compelled, if not by relationships and true intimacy, than to something I could more likely “control” – like prominence. This of course, in America especially, typically comes with the amount of money and position someone has.
Thus, I was consumed to be among the most relevant by becoming one of the most wealthy and “youngest” corporate executives. My ambition drove me to excel academically and corporately. It was a fire that burned to bury my inner emptiness.
Somehow, through these lies of isolation and ambition, God broke through. By grace, Love entered the picture, and saved me.
My wife, who managed to see through my thick walls to the tender part of my heart, gave me a Bible at my most desperate hour. It was my Christmas gift and one of the greatest gifts I have yet to receive – although at the time, I totally disregarded it. Yet, in time, her love, reflected God’s love and the walls I had built began to crack and eventually crumble.
We all have lies we choose to believe, either because we want to, or because we have been deceived. Either way, lies always seem to keep us caged. They keep us from dreaming God size dreams, they tell us to trust no one, to never risk vulnerability, and to place and invest our energies and time into worldly pursuits.
But those of us saved by grace know the truth – life is not about us. It is about living fearlessly to proclaim and share the love and truth of Jesus with others so that more captives may be set free.
Today, this is why rather than keeping to the safety of “my walls”, I choose to step-out, and get vulnerable. So, I write books, blog, speak, teach, and work differently – all to bring glory to the God that saved me, and do all I can to share the freedom I received in Christ with others.
It’s scary at times to offer myself up to be judged and critiqued by others, and frankly, there are days I’d rather not do any of it, but “living by faith includes the call to something greater than self-preservation”.