3 Reasons We Believe the Lies That Hurt Us
Updated: Nov 18
Most of us start believing lies about ourselves in childhood, when that friend, parent, or sibling treats us a certain way that leaves us believing we are not accepted, loved, or worthy enough. Perhaps someone you trusted spoke words of discouragement over you, and those words became the truth you lived by.
Have you ever thought that these lies you believe about yourself could actually be preventing you from walking into your God-given purpose?
When we’re living out of lies about who we are or who we aren’t, there can be stifling effects. The lies hide the truth of who we are meant to be and snuff out the life we are meant to live. We are not called to live a life held in prison and bondage to these lies.
God sent His very own son Jesus to “set us as captives free” (Luke 4:18). Free from the lies that we have believed about ourselves. Free from the lies that have held us back. Free from the lies that have allowed us to make decisions that didn’t move us deeper into God’s purpose for us.
Wherever these lies come from, they have one thing in common: they all started with a thought.
It Begins with a Thought
Thoughts enter our minds all throughout the day. Sometimes they come from others, things we watch or see, or perceptions we have. No matter the case of where the thought comes from, it enters our minds at some point. Research shows that the average person thinks up to 80,000 thoughts in a given day, of which, 80% of those thoughts are negative.
It’s crucial that we take inventory of our thoughts. We are in charge of whether we want to keep the thoughts, allowing them to take up residence in our minds, or if we want to throw away and rebuke these thoughts. Hear this: once you allow a thought to stay awhile, that thought can turn into a belief, and that belief, if held onto long enough, can become your reality and the truth you live by. It can become a stronghold in your life that dictates your decisions and also holds you back from walking in the free life that is offered to us with the Lord.
This is why Paul teaches us that while we walk in the flesh, we are not in war with the flesh. He tells us that our weapons we have are mighty as we have the power to “bring every thought into captivity making it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10: 5). We have to walk in confidence knowing that we can bring every thought into the hands of Christ, allowing Him to take them captive, rather than have them captivate us.
There is no truth in lies, and we must understand where the root of all lies come from.
The First Lie Ever Told
Did you know the reason Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil all stemmed from a lie?
The lie came from a serpent spoken about in Genesis 3:1-6. The serpent asked Eve if God really said she couldn’t eat from every tree from the garden. Eve told the serpent that God said that she can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the tree in the middle of the garden telling her, “you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
This is the moment that the serpent then whispered the first lie ever told.
He said, “you will not surely die, in fact, God knows that in the day you will eat of it your eyes will be open and you will be like God knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3: 4-5). This serpent was the one who told the first lie and still continues to try to destroy our lives today with the same tactics. Satan is the serpent and is described as “more cunning than any beast in the field” (Genesis 3: 1), and he is the root from which all lies stem.
The Root of All Lies
The root of all lies stems from Satan himself. The Lord Jesus spoke about him saying that “there is no truth in Satan, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Not only is Satan a liar, but he is the father of lies. All lies in the world owe their existence to Satan. This is why we are warned in 1 Peter 5:8 to “be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
As believers, we have an enemy who is looking to cause havoc in our lives, and he does this through whispering thoughts full of lies. Thankfully, the Bible clearly states in 1 John 4:4 that we are overcomers, “because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
What a beautiful promise—Satan is of the world, but the Holy Spirit is the one that is in us as believers, and He is far greater and far more powerful than our enemy, Satan.
Knowing this, we still tend to hold onto lies that can harm us. Here are 3 reasons why we may hold onto these lies:
1. Our Experiences Portray Them to Be Truth
Perhaps your dad left at a young age, and because of this experience, you have believed the lie that all men will one day leave. Our experiences are real and can involve pain, therefore, we think of them as truth. While our experiences are felt at the deepest level, we could be holding onto the lie of one or perhaps multiple experiences preventing us from walking in the truth.
I encourage you to take a look at your life and take some time in prayer to see what experiences you have had that may be distorting the truth. Perhaps you have even said the words out loud that make them true in your mind. Remember, “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any lies spoken over your life, over someone close to you, or over a general group of people. There could be lies that you are holding onto that is harming you, or preventing you from moving forward.
2. We Are Afraid of What’s on the Other Side of Healing
Maybe we are aware of the lies we hold onto, and know deep down that we need healing, but we stay holding onto lies that harm us, because we are afraid of what’s on the other side of healing. We stay in a state of worry or lack of peace living in lies that harm us.
At some point, we need to decide if we want to get well, if we want to be free. In John 5:1-15, Jesus meets a man at the pool of Bethesda. This is a place where multitudes of people lay sick, blind, lame, paralyzed, just waiting for an angel to stir the water. Whoever stepped in the water first, was made well from whatever disease they had.
This man who Jesus came across was paralytic and had been laying by the pool for thirty-eight years. When Jesus asked him, “would you like to get well?” the man replied saying he has no one to help put him in the pool and every time the water is stirred, someone always steps down before he does. Jesus then healed him saying “stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
Now, there could be all kinds of reason that after thirty-eight years, this man wasn’t able to get to the pool. But I wonder if it was because he didn’t know any other truth besides his infirmity, and was afraid to see what the other side was full of?
We, too, could be just a few simple steps away from freedom where God is waiting to remove the lies of our lives that we have believed that have harmed us. I encourage you to take one step at a time to pursuing the truth over your lies. As it is in the “truth, that will set you free” (John 8:32).
3. We Don’t Know Any Other Truth
Perhaps you don’t recognize you are believing a lie because you don’t know the truth to compare it to. Maybe you don’t know the truth of all the love God has for you, so you make decisions based on searching for love from other places that feed you lies of satisfaction that are temporary.
All truth is found in the word of God. Anything else that is not the word of God should be held up to the light. In fact, as believers, we are to test everything told to us against the word of God. 1 John 4:1 says, “do no believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
The way to know the truth is to dive into the Word. For the word of God “proves to be true [flawless], and it’s a shield for all who seek His protection.” Don’t let the news, respected leaders or pastors be your only source of truth. Receive their word, but then take everything to the word of God, so you can be assured its truth.
If you don’t know lies you are holding onto that may be harming you, seek out Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal new truth and new revelations to you. He is faithful to do so.
Replacing the Lies with Truth
We can’t eliminate thoughts from eroding our mind. They will come in our mind intentionally from Satan himself, or from lies we have believed from experiences or not being immersed and knowledgeable in the truth found in God’s word.
The good news is we can begin today. We can begin to soak ourselves in Scripture and allow the truth of God’s word to be engraved on our hearts. We can begin replacing all the lies we have believed that have harmed us with the truth written in God’s word. We can’t rid ourselves of thoughts entering our mind, but we can certainly choose to allow them to take up residence. We can take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ. And the more time we spend saturating our minds in the word of God, the more truth we will know, and the more we will be able to replace the lies with these truths.
Thank you Lord, that we have the Bible at our fingertips to combat the lies that harm us.
Author: Alisha Headley