6 Ways to Believe the Truth and Not the Lies

This post really spoke to me as a parent, as a Middle School Pastor, and as a person seeking to walk with JESUS. The added bonus is the fun idea of a game to find the TRUTH!

This post first appeared on ScottKedersha.com under the title, “What Lie Do You Believe that Gets You Into Trouble?” Check out the Scott Kedersha’s Blog here

6 Ways to Believe the Truth and Not the Lies

I’ve found myself playing a game I don’t like the past few weeks. Not that I don’t love games. This one, however, I don’t really like to play. It’s a game I have to play whenever I struggle with insecurity and comparison.

You can’t buy this game at Target and Amazon won’t ship it to you. The game is called Spot the Lie, and I learned it many years ago from Watermark’s lead pastor, Todd Wagner.

Todd plays the game with his kids. The concept is simple—whenever something doesn’t seem right or promises something it can’t truly deliver, you need to spot the lie, lest you think the lie is truth.

For example:

  • Snickers promises to satisfy. While it certainly does for a few short moments, the flavor quickly goes away but the calories, energy drain, and sugar crash stick around.
  • Those new cars that spouses buy for each other at Valentine’s Day and Christmas? You know the ones that show up in their driveway with a big red bow on them? Those cars are awesome until the first bills come in or the newer model comes out. That new car won’t satisfy your desire for stuff and an extravagant purchase won’t fix your hurting marriage.
  • The praise you get for crushing it at work, in the sermon, in the basketball game—fleeting. Great in the moment, but it goes away, replaced by the praise for another or a failure right around the corner.
  • Any commercial ever made for any game or toy for your children! They look so happy in those commercials. LIES!

You Must Spot the Lie

In each of these situations, you must spot the lie so you don’t believe something that won’t ever come true.

Another way to play this game is when your brain tells you things that just aren’t right. For instance, you might tell yourself:

  • I’m unlovable.
  • I’m a fraud and I’m not good enough.
  • Or, I’m the worst and everyone is better than me.
  • My kids dislike me and my spouse and friends do too.
  • This team would do better without me.
  • Me, me, me, I, I, I… you get the picture.

For whatever reason, the last few weeks, I’ve really struggled with comparing myself to others. I desire their gifts, acclaim, and praise, and in the process I tear myself down and believe the lies.

Instead of losing this battle, I’ve had to play a lot of rounds of Spot the Lie. You might need to play this game as well. At some point, we all do.

6 Ways You Can Win at Spot the Lie

1. Fight the lies with truth.

Read God’s Word. Memorize scripture. Meditate on Truth. Ultimately, we can learn so much about our identity not from others, not from the world, not from the praise of man, but through God’s Word. Here are a few verses (with a brief synopsis) you might want to check out (and memorize):

  • John 1:12 – You are a child of God
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 – You are a new creation.
  • Genesis 1:27 – You are made in the image and likeness of God.
  • Galatians 4:7 – You are a child of God and a co-heir with Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – You were bought at a high price.
  • Romans 8:1 – There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Side note: You need to know the main reason I write what I write is because I need it as much, if not more, than you do. Reading these verses is good for my soul, and helps me Spot the Lie and believe Truth instead!

2. Pray for change.

Ask God to give you the wisdom you need to stop believing the lies and instead believe truth. Sometimes my brain goes crazy and spins out of control. In those moments, I ask God for His wisdom (James 1:5).

3. Listen to good songs filled with Truth.

A few I’ve listened to the last few weeks:

  • Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say.” I love this new song, and in it Daigle rightly says we should believe what God says about us.
  • Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship. In this song, I’m reminded that I am a child of God, I’m chosen (by God), and I am who He says I am (not who the lies tell me I am).
  • The hymn, “My Worth is Not in What I Own.” Recently recorded by Shane and Shane in their Hymns, Vol 1 album. The lyrics remind us to boast in knowing Christ, not in what we own, our wealth, might, or wisdom we posses.

4. Focus on others.

When I start to play the self-pity game, I instead choose to encourage and think of others. When I take the focus off myself, I can encourage those around me. In Romans 12, Paul reminds us to use our gifts. My gift is encouragement, and I love how Romans 12:8 says if your gift is encouragement, then encourage others! Whatever your gift is, use it/them, for the glory of God and for the good of others.

5. Fight the sin of comparison.

Too often we coddle our sin or just think it will go away. I want to fight my sin, whether it’s lust, anger, or comparison. John Owens famously said, “Be killing sin, or it be killing you.”

6. Engage others.

In those moments when I believe the lies, I want to run away and hide. I feel guilt, shame, and embarrassment, and the last thing I want to do is let others in. Rather, I know I need others to speak truth into my life, wound me with love, and encourage me. I need others to bear my burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to shine light into the darkness of my sin and lies.

You might have some other ways you have to fight the lies. Please share them below in the comments section.

On a much lighter note, I do love games. Here are three fun ones I recently started playing with friends and family.

  • One Night Ultimate Werewolf – like mafia, but quicker. Great party game.
  • Dutch Blitz – super fun card game. Our family loves it! “A Vondferful Goot Game.”
  • Psych! – great party game you play on your iPhone. Especially fun if you know each other well. We especially like the “And the Truth Comes Out” deck.

Your Turn:

  • How do you fight the lies in your life?
  • What scriptures would you add to the list above in point #1.

God, the Inventor of Love

C.S. Lewis

“God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them.

He creates the universe, already foreseeing – or should we say “seeing”? there are no tenses in God

– the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath’s sake, hitched up.

If I may dare the biological image, God is a “host” who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and “take advantage of” Him.

Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves.”

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Discovering Your Gifts

SPIRITUAL GIFTS LIST:

“WE HAVE DIFFERENT GIFTS, ACCORDING TO THE GRACE GIVEN US.” ROMANS 12:6

Click here for the LeaderTreks Blog Article

As followers of Christ, we have all received special God-given abilities that are a part of how the Lord has uniquely wired and gifted us. When we begin to identify these gifts, we are able to use them more effectively as well as grow more comfortable with who we are and how we’ve been designed – which is why we’ve complied them into a spiritual gifts list.

With definitions and scriptural connections the spiritual gifts list below covers 15 different spiritual gifts, which can be used for your own assessment or teaching your students. Looking to go deeper? LeaderTreks offers a comprehensiveSpiritual Gifts assessment.

BELIEVING – Faith – Definition: Believing is a special God-given ability to trust God’s will and act on it, with an unwavering belief in God’s concern, presence, and active participation.

This gift is listed in 1 Corinthians 12:9 where is is translated as “faith” or “special faith.”

COMFORTING – Mercy – Definition: Comforting is a special God-given ability to understand and come alongside people who are troubled or suffering, bringing them comfort, insight, and hope.

This gift is listed in Romans 12:8 where it is usually translated as “showing mercy” or “showing kindness.”

DIRECTING – Leadership – Definition: Directing is a special God-given ability to instill vision, motivate, and guide people to work together effectively to achieve worthwhile goals.

This gift is listed in Romans 12:8 where it is usually translated as “leadership” or “he who leads.”

DISCERNING – Discernment – Definition: Discerning is a special God-given ability to distinguish between truth and error, good and evil, and to show good judgement in matters involving character and relationships.

This gift is listed in 1 Corinthians 12:10 where it is usually translated as “distinguishing between spirits” or “discerning of spirits.”

ENCOURAGING – Exhortation – Definition: Encouraging is a special God-given ability to affirm, uplift, and restore confidence to individuals who are feeling discouraged or defeated.

This gift is listed in Romans 12:8 where it is usually translated as “encouraging” or “exhortation.”

EVANGELIZING – Evangelism – Definition: Evangelizing is a special God-given ability to effectively communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to non-believers so they can respond and begin to grow in their faith.

This gift is listed in Ephesians 4:11 where it is usually translated as “evangelists.”

GIVING – Contributing – Definition: Giving is a special God-given ability to contribute cheerfully, generously, and regularly to the church and other important ministries, causes, and people in need.

This gift is listed in Romans 12:8 where it is usually translated as “contributing to the needs of others” or “he who gives.”

LEARNING – Knowledge – Definition: Learning is a special God-given ability to gather, analyze, and share information appropriately with others, leading to greater understanding and insight.

This gift is listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8 where it is usually translated as “message of knowledge,” “word of knowledge,” or “gift of special knowledge.”

MENTORING – Pastoring/Shepherding – Definition: Mentoring is a special God-given ability to guide and support individuals or groups as they grow in their faith and in their capacity for ministry.

This gift is listed in Ephesians 4:11 where it is usually translated as “pastors.”

ORGANIZING – Administration – Definition: Organizing is a special God-given ability to plan, organize tasks, and follow through so that complex projects are completed efficiently and effectively.

This gift is listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28 where it is usually translated as “administration,” “governments,” or “those who can get others to work together.”

PIONEERING – Apostleship – Definition: Pioneering is a special God-given ability to launch new ventures or lead change, confidently moving forward despite uncertainty or risk.

This gift is listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11 where it is usually translated as “apostles.”

PROBLEM-SOLVING – Wisdom – Definition: Problem-Solving is a special God-given ability to provide practical advice to that leads to timely, effective resolution of problems.

This gift is listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28 where it is usually translated as “message of wisdom,” “word of  wisdom,” or “ability to give wise advice.”

 SPEAKING OUT – Prophet – Definition: Speaking Out is a special God-given ability to declare God’s truth boldly and publicly for the purpose of correction or instruction.

This gift is listed in Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28 and Ephesians 4:11 where it is usually translated as “prophesying,” “prophets,” or “ability to prophesy.”

SUPPORTING – Helps – Definition: Supporting is a special God-given ability to provide practical, behind-the-scences help that frees others to accomplish more than they might otherwise be capable of achieving.

This gift is listed in Romans 12:7 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 where it is usually translated as “helps,” “serving,” “ministry,” “forms of assistance,” or “those who are able to help others.”

TEACHING – Teacher – Definition: teaching is a special God-given ability to organize and clearly communicate knowledge and skills to others, and to motivate them to master and apply what they are learning.

This gift is listed in Romans 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:28, and Ephesians 4:11 where it is usually translated as “teaching” or “teacher.”

THIS WEEK:

What can you do this week to use your gifts?

What are you going to do?

When are you going to do it?

Is there someone who can keep you accountable?

THINK ABOUT IT
“We cannot get Christ’s gifts without himself.” – Alexander Maclaren (The Epistles of St. Paul to the Colossians and Philemon, Volume 31 of Expositor’s Bible, 1905.)

MEMORIZE/MEDITATE ON THIS VERSE
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12:4-5 (ESV)

Reckless Love – Passion Video Devo

Have you been overwhelmed by the LOVE of JESUS lately?

In a world where we crave true love, look for authentic relationships, and seem to fail at the pursuit so much, it is refreshing to be reminded of the Love that Jesus Christ gave away for you and for me.  Jesus, himself, spoke of how this love works with those who follow him in John 15 below:

John 15:9-13

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

“To lay down one’s life for one’s friends” paints a picture of TRUE RECKLESS LOVE!  As Jesus spoke to His disciples, he meant for their impact to be simple, LOVE.  This overwhelming love from the Father was poured out in the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, so that we might be overflowing with the love of Jesus.

How can the overwhelming love of Jesus be an overflowing supply to your family, your friends, and those in your day-to-day life?

THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR YOUR RECKLESS LOVE FOR US!!!

Parent Cue: The Secret of Superman

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Superman. Seriously! I still remember the day my parents handed me a box from Sears and Roebuck that contained a red cape, blue tights with a red-and-yellow “S” shield on the chest. When I put it on, something magical happened. It transformed me from a shy six-year-old to a super hero with unique powers.

I was more powerful than my dad’s parked car.

I could leap tall fences with a single bound.

I was faster than our speeding fox terrier.

Looking back, I am absolutely positive that I could jump higher, run faster, and do more whenever I put on that suit. That was the year I got in trouble with my mom for running across the roof of our house in my red cape and underwear. It was just one of those days when I had to get suited up fast, so I left the tights off and just went with the cape. And don’t ask me how I got up on the roof. You should know. I flew, of course. At least that’s what I remember.

I don’t actually recall when I stopped believing in Superman, but his story did convince me of something that is true.

Good will ultimately win over evil.

READ MORE ON PARENTCUE.ORG

Artistic View of the Stations of the Cross

I love to be inspired and look for creative ways to be reminded of the journey to the Cross during Holy Week.  Scott Erickson has a great way of merging today’s value in Art and the Spiritual Journey we all take to the Cross.  Hope this inspires you this week as well.

    Pastor Brandon

The Stations of the Cross began as a practice that pilgrims would have when they were retracing Jesus’ finals steps in Jerusalem up to the hill where he was crucified. Wanting to share that practice and experience with people who couldn’t make the trip to the Holy City, they created these stations of meditation that became in itself a tradition. Today, you can find this tradition on the inside of many churches.

This journey to the cross is not only a meditation of Jesus accomplishing what he came to do –  the redemption of  humanity through his own willful sacrifice – but it’s also a contemplation of Jesus silently participating in some of the worst aspects of being human.  We see him being tempted. Betrayed by a friend. Convicted in an unjust system. Pain.  Mockery.  Public humiliation.  Broken family relationships.

He was one who was not separate from our own pain.

I don’t think our deepest question is “Is there a God?”

IS GOD REALLY IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS?

check out more from artist Scott Erickson here