I love a good movie. There is a new movie out now called “The Good Liar” that stars Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. I don’t usually go to R-rated movies but I made an exception for this one and went to see it last night. It was a good illustration of how casually we lie to others. It got me thinking about lies vs. truth.
When I was a child, I was generally truthful. However, there was a particular phase I went through wherein I told a lot of lies. Sometimes I lied to keep myself from getting in trouble and sometimes I lied for no discernible reason. I suspect that I was not a “good” liar, though, as I always seemed to get in trouble in spite of my lies (and often because of them).
A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin. Proverbs 26:28
That’s pretty amazing to me. “A lying tongue HATES those it hurts.” We dishonor others when we are not truthful with them. Anyone who has been deceived by someone else can attest to this.
I remember the feeling that I had the first time that I realized that someone close to me had intentionally deceived me. I was a child, but I remember that I was absolutely crushed. I could not believe that they had lied to me; this was someone I thought I could trust! Even at the young age of 5 or 6, I started to wonder what other lies I was being told.
Perhaps it’s because of these experiences that I now value truthfulness so much – in myself and in others. I recently ended a relationship with someone dear to me because of the person’s pattern of deception which repeated in spite of being addressed on numerous occasions. This person was a good liar, and I often didn’t realize that I was being deceived until the truth came out later, as it inevitably does. I was unable to “read between the lies”. I no longer trust that person at all, and it breaks my heart. This person had an issue of character that played out in our relationship.
On the other hand, I am blessed to have relationships with many who are trustworthy. Their trustworthiness has been proven time and time again, and I have no need to question it. Their character has been tested and affirmed. This Proverb is true of them:
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right. Proverbs 8:6
It is hard enough when we are lied to within our relationships. This leads to the death of relationships, but not to eternal death. However, there is another who will lie to you:
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
He is “the father of lies” and “there is no truth in him”. This is Satan’s character and it always plays out that way. He tries to seduce you to his way of thinking, but his deception leads to the death of your soul.
There is One Who will never lie to us or deceive us, and His name is Jesus Christ. In His Word, He tells us:
The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in people who are trustworthy. Proverbs 12:22
It is no wonder that the Lord delights in those who are trustworthy because He is truth. There is no deception in Him. That is the crux of His character. He cannot lie or deceive because it would be against His character.
Jesus also says:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
So, then, if Jesus can only speak the truth, we need to examine His claim that “no one comes to the Father except through me”. This cannot be a lie, because while people can choose to behave out of character, God cannot. All of His ways lead to eternal life.
Friend, if you want to get to Heaven and to be with the one true God, there is only one way to do it, and that’s through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s not through Buddha or Mohammed or being “spiritual but not religious” or any other path. It’s only through Jesus. Examine His claims within His Word for yourself and you will find that this is the truth. Amen!
Amen to that sister! That is powerful soul saving truth! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you, Ryan! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
Yes! Only in and through Jesus, our Way, our Truth, and our Life! Thank you, Liz. I hope you have a cozy, blessed Thanksgiving! Love and blessings to you!
Thank you, Trudy! I hope that your Thanksgiving is wonderful in every way also. Love and blessings right back to you!
My name is John Noland. I am new to blogging, in fact this is my first day. I do a lot of journaling as well as lead a mens recovery ministry where I have many opportunities to share thoughts and ideas the Holy Spirit lays on my heart regularity with the men in my ministry and some women. The people I work with have been encouraging me to go public with some of my musings for a long time and with a recent miracle in my own life I felt it was time. With Thanksgiving coming tomorrow what better way of saying thanks to Jesus for what He has done in my life. With this being my first day I have spent a good portion of it looking a Christian as well as what I would term “spiritual” blogs to see what and how different people post their thoughts. Is it like journaling? Or sermons? Or is it just random thoughts? And the answer was yes LOL
I came across your blog this evening and was both inspired and troubled by it. I was glad to read in your last few posting that you are going to Celebrate Recovery. But why did you stop going to CR in the first place. As one who himself has been in and now leads a recovery ministry I know how important it is to stay in fellowship. Salvation in Jesus is a one time event but recovery is a life long process. Any with group be it, AA, NA, CR will tell you there is not magic bullet, no one time vaccine and you are recovered. In our group we view our work in as Paul talked about our walk with Jesus
Philippians 2:12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
12 So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Yes Jesus saves but he gave us communities to help us grow in our faith and recover from our issues in life. It’s not that recovery work can’t be done alone, the Holy Spirit is the power behind all that we do, but I have seen to many people over the years think of recovery work as either a one shot deal or maybe a need a booster shot every now and then. When you posted in your Wrestling With Resentment that you had been in recovery before it almost sounded like ” a been there done that” statement. The enemy is great at getting us to think that we have worked out all our problems, but it seems like you are seeing as human beings there is always more to peel away.
One of the big reasons people had pushed me to blog is that the one of the gifts they say I have is prophesy which I agree to some extent. I do feel that God is blessed me with some ability to as we will sometimes say in our group cut through the BS when guys are trying to avoid looking at their issues. As I have read through you writing over the years I see some great teaching and insights that you have passed on to your readers, but the Spirit is also telling me you have for so long used your outward walk as a shield to mask or avoid your own hurts, hangups and faults. When I read “Praising God for the Trials “while you said you didn’t want a pity party that is exactly what it sounded like. Yes James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials, but he also says if you lack wisdom ask. Individually and collectively, we strive to continually get better at listening to the Lord and
bringing more of Jesus to others. There are two key elements of continual improvement: training and preparation and real time feedback and that is what happens after every ministry encounter while at recovery.
I feel the Spirit saying especially looking at many of your post the last 8 or 9 months that the enemy has you casting all your problems on others so as not to have to accept any responsibility for your own failures, In my time in recovery I can attest that hurt people hurt other people. You are right when the say satan is the father is lies and it seems like the biggest lie he has told you that all these relation struggles are not of your making and you are the victim.
There is passion when you share the word when you talk about the Woman at Well, Sunflower, even going all the way back to A Valentine’s Thought About Nothing or The Importance of Firsts. But there is a spirit of detachment when you write about your strained relationships. Now forgive me as I have no idea what these situations are but those of us in recovery are very good at casting the blame for our problems on others because that is easier than really admitting how broken we are. As I tell the men in our recovery group the real work doesn’t begin until we follow what we call the look the Hypocrite in the mirror first
Matthew 7:4-5 Living Bible (TLB)
4 Should you say, ‘Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye,’ when you can’t even see because of the board in your own? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the board. Then you can see to help your brother.
If you’re like most people, when you have a problem with someone else, you focus on what that person did wrong. You think the problem would get better if the other person would change. In your Praising God for the Trials post you said when your trial wasn’t resolved
” I ended up baring my heart through tears to the Lord, letting Him know how much it hurt but asking Him for His perspective.”
We are all liars but those of in recovery need to realize the biggest liar we face is ourselves . You also said in that post
“I have never rejoiced at the onset of a trial, or in the middle of one. I rejoice when they’re done.”
I know in CR they ask you to to make searching and fearless moral inventory . and maybe you did that before in your previous time with them. I would suggest if you still have it go bakc really look it over. Most times our first time through a recovery inventory we just skim the surface. In fact even if your go through it 2, 3, 4 or more times you will find that there are always issues to be set at the foot of the cross. In recovery the past in never really the past. So in my own life when I stepped away from my recovery work it affected other areas of my life. Attending church became less and less important to me as my drinking. I knew that if I died I was saved and beside I can always get the tapes or watch the video later; however, I also was beginning to be uncomfortable with my lifestyle. I put up the good front that I was the amazing man of God and if anyone questioned me I thought how dare they, there must be something wrong. with them. To the outside world everything with my family seemed normal, but in my heart I knew something was very wrong. I was not facing the fact that my substance abuse and lies from the past were still a problem. Slowly I became more and more uncomfortable leading this lifestyle and had to face a major decision. You know, conviction is really uncomfortable! I had a choice here, do it my way continue the abuse and living by the world’s standards; or surrender and repent and do it God’s way.
I wish I could stand here and tell you that I saw the light and did it God’s way. But, the truth is, I chose my way. My substance abuse increased and I while I didn’t turn my back completely on God I decided to pick and choose what I would and wouldn’t obey in His word while still looking good in front of others. And since I had convinced my self that I wa ok then it was easy to say my problems were caused but others, The only things my hurts, hang-ups and habits cost me were my close relationship with the Lord, my family and friends. You see what I had considered the solution for my life’s problem denying my hurts and selfish desires to do things my way became the problem of my life! I would only surrender to Jesus the things that felt safe to me. Total surrender and trust in Him would make me vulnerable and open to potential criticism from others. No I had to be in control, I didn’t fully believe that His love and His word could truly cause all things to work together for my good.
That is why as I said earlier your recovery work is not something that you can think is a moment in time. We need to approach recovery the way we approach our walk with Jesus. It is either growing or stagnant, we are either working our recovery regularly with accountability partners and sponsors or we are lying to ourselves that things are ok with us and it the world or others that are the problem. Jesus said we must first focus on our own shortcoming, on changes we need to make. This is not to say that those around us don’t have faults, bad habits and sins. They do. But despite that, God wants us to focus first on our part. In our group I ask the guys when you look at the problems you face what is the common denominator and when they take time to look deep they see it is themselves. The are the ones looking at porn, doing drugs, making poor choices or in your case as you stated in Happy Birthday to Me
My desire to celebrate is complicated by the fact that I am currently estranged from several people who are the most dear to me.
I said hurt people hurt people and I praise God that you are back in recovery I was glad to read you forgave the person who raped you but the Holy Spirit is still giving me the strong sense that you are in denial of your own short comings and when they are settled you will can take the speak at of others eyes.
I hope I didn’t offend you. But I am trying to use a talent that God has given me.
Ephesians 4:12-16 Living Bible (TLB)
12 Why is it that he gives us these special abilities to do certain things best? It is that God’s people will be equipped to do better work for him, building up the Church, the body of Christ, to a position of strength and maturity; 13 until finally we all believe alike about our salvation and about our Savior, God’s Son, and all become full-grown in the Lord—yes, to the point of being filled full with Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. 15-16 Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly[a]—and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love
In this last post you said the truth comes out as it inevitably does. I am praying it does so for you in your recovery work. If I am wrong about all this then I ask for your forgiveness but I have not felt the movement of the Spirit like this for someone I don’t know for a long time. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Thank you so much for coming by, reading and responding. I appreciate it! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving also.
I have plenty of faults and shortcomings, and am dealing with those as the Lord leads me. Am I unwilling to look at those? I don’t think so, but I will ask the Lord to reveal to me any place He wants to speak that I am resisting His work and maybe He will show me something that I didn’t realize was there. Just as He revealed that I had more healing work to be done in the area of resentments than I thought I would find, He may show me something that I was blind to previously.
I never looked at recovery as a “one and done” exercise. The reasons for leaving recovery earlier had nothing to do with the fact that I considered myself to be done with recovery, but for various reasons it was necessary for me to pursue my recovery through means other than through a recovery group. I always knew I would go back into a recovery group when the time was right. I’m glad to be back there now as it is definitely helpful to my walk.
I am glad that you have joined the blogging world! I will check out your blog soon. Blessings to you!
I am glad you are taking time to ask Jesus to search your heart. I spent a good part of yesterday away from watching college football reading your posts again and spoke with some trusted Christian friends at service today about what I was sensing from the Holy Spirit. As I said one of the primary reasons people wanted me to share my musing in blogs, was they say I have a spirit of insight. An evangelist told me so some 25 years ago and prayed this verse over me Philippians 1:9 “My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight I have seen the Holy Spirit so many times give me a word for someone or just call them out when necessary.
Here is an exercise we do in our Hope and Healing Group I suggest you try. We play Michael Jackson “Man in the Mirror” and we read the song lyrics and give each person a hand held mirror and then we read Matthew 7:3-5. Try this in a mirror at your home. We tell the guys to ask the Holy Spirit to truly help us see who we are and where we fall short. Since you will be at home have your husband pray at the same time and ask him if the Spirit is seeing things that you may be missing.
In the verses Jesus uses the work “hypocrite.” The word hypocrite is rooted in the Greek word hypokrites, which means “stage actor, pretender, dissembler.” For Christians a hypocrite is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion. The Holy Spirit has been screaming to me the word DENIAL in your relationship issues. Too many Christians in recovery are good at confession and asking for forgiveness but fail to repent. They will still go back to doing what they did before. Maybe you know the saying, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.” Jesus had a version of this wisdom when he said, “Don’t focus on the speck in your brother’s eye while ignoring the log in your own eye.” This is where the rub comes for Christians in recovery. We will put on our spirit-filled mask in front of others and we will choose to walk close with Jesus as long as it goes along with what we want. “After all we have nothing to lose ultimately since we are saved,” we know we will spend eternity with the Father. So when life and situations don’t fit our program we throw the bible out the window. We don’t care what the word says or what God expects of us, we do our own thing. We go back to our addictive patterns saying well God wants me to be happy so my sin is excusable, He is giving me a pass, I am justified in my sin and it’s really somebody else’s fault I choose to sin. Adam and Eve did it and Adam even went as far as to blame God for his sin. We desire and want our recovery as long as God gives it to us on our terms and when our terms conflict with God’s commandments in is word then our terms supersede what He says
In “Do Not Repay Evil for Evil” you took those first two steps of confession and seeking forgiveness but did you repent and ask Jesus why do I continue to sin in these situations? The Bible says that you must overcome your anger and not use it as an excuse to sin. Paul wrote, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27). If you do not accept your bad temper as a personal problem, you will always find reasons to be mad at others, since everyone is imperfect.
Speaking from my own experience. I know I was that way myself in my long going continuing road of recovery. As I continued to deny I had a problem I changed but not for the better at first. I wish I could stand here and tell you that I saw the light and did it God’s way. But, the truth is, I chose my own way. My drinking increased and I turned my back completely on God. The only things my hurts, hang-ups and habits cost me were my close relationship with the Lord and my family. You see, what I had considered the solution for my life’s problem, alcohol, became the problem of my life! And finally my drinking cost me all purpose and reason for living. I was dying physically, emotionally, mentally, and most importantly spiritually! Liz I pray that in your return to Celebrate Recovery you take the beam out of your eye. I have seen it in people time and time again, their spirit of denial ruin relationship after relationship. I was in tears when I read Happy Birthday to Me. I saw you acknowledge your pain….
“My heart aches, and leading up to this day, I only felt dread at trying to manufacture some sort of celebratory spirit. Celebration just doesn’t feel complete without them here”………
But then you run back to your spiritual mask of protection and say God it’s ok I am fine with where I am
“However, the Lord gave me a re-direction on that point this morning. Just like when I celebrate my spiritual birthday, today isn’t about me and what I’ve done – it’s about what He has done.”
Yes it is about what Jesus has done but in recovery it is about WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AND CONTINUE TO DO! Good Christian men and women have gone through multiple relationships, because they didn’t face and own up to their demons and not just confess them once, but daily sacrifice them at the cross. Praise Jesus I stayed in recovery long enough and worked my steps hard enough to save my marriage.
In praying about what I wanted to write today the Spirit led me to this parable. Matthew 9:16-17
16 And who would mend worn-out clothing with new fabric? When the new cloth shrinks it will rip, making the hole worse than before. 17 And who would pour fresh, new wine into an old wineskin? Eventually the wine will ferment and make the wineskin burst, losing everything—the wine is spilled and the wineskin ruined. Instead, new wine is always poured into a new wineskin so that both are preserved.”
36 And he gave them this illustration: “No one rips up a new garment to make patches for an old, worn-out one. If you tear up the new to make a patch for the old, it will not match the old garment. 37 And who pours new wine into an old wineskin? If someone did, the old wineskin would burst and the new wine would be lost.
Wine is the symbol of Gods presence and as Paul said in Ephesians 5 to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to be filled with wine-which is Gods presence and new wine is a fresh move of His Spirit. Liz do you remember how wonderful it was when you and your husband said I do, and when your children were born? Powerful times of Joy and Celebration. How about when you were first saved and filled with the Spirit. God presence was so sweet and strong. Every time you would pray His presence would immediately manifest itself and you could sense His nearness all day long. I will bet there were times in church you would just sit and cry because He was so close. Then one day much later you notice that you didn’t sense His presence quite so easily. You were still praying like you use to, but now you begin to wonder, GOD WHERE ARE YOU? And that’s when the enemy would start to unleash his attack and cause you to question God and make compromise. Oh yes God loves me but I don’t see how he can work this situation out and yes I know what His commandments are but I can’t and won’t follow them. Many issues we see in recovery stem from cherry picking what rules of God we will follow. One guy dropped out of our group after more than 4 years because we would not support his decision to divorce his wife so he could be with his mistress. No matter how many bible verses he was shown or counseling from our pastor he used the old tired line God wants me to be happy. He was repeating an old pattern as he had left his first wife for the second whom he was having an affair with at the time and now is doing the same to the 2nd. Yes he stated he was a believer and his walk and witness would attest to that. I remember when he was baptized, but his core self was still mired in the desires of the flesh, this was trying to put new wine in an old wineskin. I realize this is an extreme case but as people in recovery we are blind to the tricks of the enemy. The man used the line Jesus came that we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. Yet he forgot about the first part of that verse in John 10:10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. Satan can use scripture even if it is distorted to deceive us, he tried it on Jesus in wilderness. Unfortunately he did divorce his 2nd wife, marry the other woman and left our church. This was three years ago and the 2nd wife who still attends says the man divorced his 3rd wife after a little over a year and is living with a woman now somewhere in upstate New York. Liz I sense some of your issues are because you are still living in your old wineskin. You can’t put new wine which is a fresh move of Gods Spirit in that old wineskin. In Jesus the day wineskins were made of sheep skin and the new skins were flexible and pliable. They would yield WITHOUT RESISTANCE as the wine expanded. But as time went in the middle eastern climate would dry out the skin leaving it brittle and hard. Since the skin was ridged and brittle it would not handle the new wine and it’s fermentation (the expansion). To correct the problem the old wineskin was soaked in water and rubbed in olive oil which restored the flexibility. Liz this is symbolic of what happens to us as we are the wineskin of the Spiritual new wine and we are called to carry Gods presence. But the atmosphere we reside in isn’t heaven we live in a corruptible climate. But we are called not to conform but transform our minds to keep our wineskins pliable ready always for the fresh wine. We must be soaked in the word of God, as Paul said
“so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,” The rubbing of the wineskin with the olive oil for us is like seeking God in prayer. As we spend time with God both in His word and in prayer our minds become renewed and we are no longer ridged in our old ways and methods. But to rejuvenate the old wineskin you first have to pour out the old wine. Liz that means no wine in the vessel no tangible presence of God and that means a time of challenge. In such a season of trials and challenge you, if you are willing, are preparing for change. You ask why does God remove His tangible presence? To get us frustrated? No the reason is to get you to seek and search for Him even more diligently. To want Him so bad that the idea of compromising with sin will make you ill. To say I am in a trial right now but I will continue to stand on God’s word. Seeking makes you flexible and pliable once again. People who become ridge and inflexible are people who have stopped seeking God for what He can do and instead seek Him only for what they want and if they don’t get it will go their own way. They become set in their methods, set in formulas that they have devised from previous genuine experiences. Liz have you set your own formula you expect God to follow or are you really ready to be transformed by the renewing of your mind?
I am sorry for the long comment but the Spirit was speaking loudly to me. God isn’t in the business of changing your circumstance — he’s trying to change your heart through the circumstance. He is saying Liz before you will see any resolution in your relationship trials you are going to have to go beyond your shallow look at the broken areas of your life and dig deep. Before you complain about the lies of others, stop the denial and blame throwing and admit in all your trials there is one common denominator and that is YOU. Confucius said “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are” and Liz where ever you go your hurts, hang ups and habits go with you. That is why you see recovery programs give members… 2 month, 6 month, 1,5,10 or even 20 year coins to remind them of the life long battle, that as the song we Christians sing, is a struggle “One Day at a Time.” Jesus won the war but we must battle daily against the flesh.
I look forward to reading how your recovery progresses. And will have our pray teams and recovery groups lifting up you and your relationship trials. We will also pray for your husband and children that they will be a source of strength to lean on in your recovery. Recovery is a hard process in general but my experience show to have a supportive spouse and if age appropriate children it helps heal those areas faster. We all need team mates in recovery and next to Jesus the most important teammate is a loving spouse. May God bless your recovery work Liz.
PS I don’t know if you follow this blog but the Holy Spirit led me to this today and the person is also in Kentucky. She has a great testimony reads her
God Doesn’t Always Change Your Situation Because…….. post.
Satan is a liar. That’s for sure. Great post! Blessings, Liz!