Have you ever believed a lie? Maybe when you were young your older siblings told you that the moon was made of blue cheese and you had no reason to disbelieve them, right? Or maybe they said a nickel was worth more than a dime, since it was bigger. Doesn’t that make sense?
Just like we believed those silly lies until a sensible adult, most likely our parents, came to the rescue, we also believe some very silly lies that the Devil tells us about ourselves until Jesus explains the truth.
There are many lies that the Devil tells me and I believe them so readily and deeply that they become ingrained in me and not believing them feels like denying reality. Even though Jesus very often says that “Such-and-such is actually true,” I reply “But this-and-that feels truer.”
I was not a very confident kid growing up, I’m still not. I subconsciously believed that I was a nuisance. For whatever reason, I thought that people simply tolerated my presence: that I was socially awkward and obnoxious — not very good friend material.
I’m sure there is a lot of psychology behind why I thought this, but it is not necessary to know right now. Suffice it to say that by the time I was old enough to disbelieve old wives’ tales, I not only believed these devilish lies, but I embraced them as my identity.
Jesus has many ways of revealing the truth to us. Most of the time, He does it through a personal, “face-to-face” as it were, encounter with Himself. This is very meaningful and affective since Jesus is truth (John 14:6).
Another way Jesus often shows us the truth is through His people, the body of Christ. A kind word, a smile, acts of generosity, hospitality, or acceptance are all different ways Jesus speaks to us through each other.
Take, for example, my friend Phil who lived with my family for a year and a half to work as a volunteer in Los Angeles.
By this time I was living out of the lie that people only tolerated me. When Phil came, I began to notice something: although he was closer in age to my older brothers, He did not treat me like I was six years younger.
Instead, he treated me like a friend his age. He talked, laughed, joked, and argued with me like he did with anyone else.
He did not seem to care even when I made a fool of myself, displayed my ignorance, or told a bad joke: he still accepted me and laughed when I finally told a good one.
I still remember the time he asked if I would be interested in starting a writing club with him. I was delighted! It was as if he liked me and liked being around me and thought me good company. It felt wrong and it took awhile for me to believe that it was genuine. I still find it hard to believe!
Phil was still living with us when my mom was killed in a car accident in November 2012.
Many times the following year, I talked Phil’s ear off until late into the night. Even if he was ever irritated, he never acted like it.
He patiently listened to my ramblings, or my latest piece of writing, or the crazy ideas I conjured up in my head (sometimes the crazy ideas were a joint effort).
The point is that he really seemed to like being with me. Something I had never considered true about myself. And then the thought—that dangerous thought which will take hold of you if you let it — “If Phil likes me, I wonder if Jesus does?”
One of my favorite scenes in the History Channel’s mini-series, The Bible, is toward the end with the Apostle Peter in what looks like a first-century apartment. This scene, imagined by the producers, takes place while many Christians are being persecuted and fleeing Jerusalem.
While Peter is sitting at the edge of his bed, obviously discouraged and praying, Jesus appears and begins talking with him.
I forget exactly how the dialogue went, but the thing that fixed itself in my memory was the image of Jesus sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with Peter on the edge of the bed.
It was as if Jesus considered Peter a good friend and actually liked Peter and wanted to be with him and talk with him.
I know this is not a strictly “Biblical” scene, but as far as portraying the character and personality of Jesus, I think the producers got it right with this scene.
I did not realize to what extent this scene affected me until nearly a year later when I tried describing it to my Dad, but could not because it so overwhelmed me emotionally.
It dawned on me in that moment that this was what I longed for all my life: acceptance from God. I wanted someone to care about me, not because they were obligated to, but because they wanted to.
Jesus came, in part, to fulfill that need.
This scene of Peter and Jesus popped into my head as I was telling my dad about how healing Phil’s friendship has been to me. It occurred to me then: Phil reminded me of, Jesus.
You see, God longs to have a relationship with us like He had when He would walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden. He longs for us to realize the truth: that He is our Father, our Creator, our Master, our Lover, our Helper — He is all these things.
But in that moment of deception, when we thought that divine knowledge was what we really wanted, we chose to rebel and thereby separated ourselves from God.
Ever since, we have desperately desired life, joy, peace — anything that would satisfy our heart-deep longings. Only when we encounter Jesus do we realize what our heart truly desires: God.
We desire the safety and peace of His presence, to rest in His shadow away from the cold loneliness of life without Him; but even more than any specific characteristic, we simply desire God, all of Him.
Eternal life is not so much about being saved from God’s wrath (Hell), though that is part of it, nor is it about being rescued from sin, though that is important too. Eternal life is knowing God — not knowing about God in your head like I know about President Obama in my head, but actually knowing, experiencing, and enjoying God like we know, experience, and enjoy our relationships everyday.
“This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” — John 17:3
Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!
There are currently 7 Comment(s)
There are currently 7 Comment(s)
Wonderful article. I’ve felt the same in the past, and just knowing that God cares for us, and that we actually matter to Him still surprises me and brings joy to my life everyday.
And that last paragraph was the perfect ending. So true!
God bless you all!
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I was learning in Sunday School recently about God’s foreknowledge. Romans 8:29-30 speaks to this. God chose us before the beginning of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and loved us with an everlasting love. It wasn’t foresight: like He could see down the tunnel of time and that you and I and the others would become saved. No, it was a deliberate act of bestowing love upon and choosing each and every one of His people. God has placed the parts of the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them(1 Corinthians 12:18 NIV).
And for those of us who struggle with confidence or believing that we and our friendship could be wanted and desired, I wanted to point this out. God works through the ordinary; He chooses the unkempt and the looked down upon and the undesirables; He loves those who are poor; He saves those who are least deserving. Take a look at King David. Before he was a king he was a shepherd, which one of my pastors had said was basically the lowest of the low. God chose this young shepherd to be king of a nation. Of His chosen nation, no less. Rahab was a prostitute who God incorporated into the bloodline of Jesus. Ruth was a Moabite, not an Israelite, who God incorporated into the bloodline of Jesus. Moses had a speech impediment and God chose to use him to lead His people out of slavery. Mary was a young virgin upon whom God bestowed His favor in the form of His Son! Joseph was a carpenter, given the duty of raising the Christ. Jesus Himself was a carpenter’s son. The founders of the church were fishermen and tax-collectors. Saul was a zealous, self-righteous Pharisee who sought the destruction of the body of Christ, transformed by an encounter with Christ so powerful that he would never be the same man ever again. And He has done this same thing for each and every sinner He’s saved in every century, including you and me.
Yes!! This is so true! Praise God for His rich mercy and grace!
Thank you Sadie, for these reminders of the amazing love our God has for each of us 🙂
Emily, Al Ive, thanks for your comments! His mercy and grace are rich indeed!
I’ve always felt the same way about myself. 🙂
Hey Elisabeth, I know what you mean, but you KNOW that God doesn’t just like you, He LOVES you, & those whose hearts are His also love you 🙂
Dig into God’s Word & commit to memory those verses that tell of what Christ did for us, then when those feelings sneak in, the Holy Spirit can call them to mind (& ask God for a “Phil” to help encourage you, not a literal one but you know what I mean;)
Wow Chris, you just totally rocked it!
That was awesome!! Thank u, Christopher!! 🙂
Hey Chris! Thanks for the encouraging reminders in your post. I think you’re so spot on: what our hearts really desire is God, and we find our true satisfaction in Him alone. Our relationship with Him and believing His truth is so critical, then! Sometimes we just aren’t aware of the impact that we are having on others, as well. Phil’s example in your life really was a challenge to me to keep investing in other people’s lives; I think we all could use examples of Jesus more. Thanks!
That’s beautiful, Chris. Thanks so much for sharing that with us! Also, I’m so sorry you lost your mum.. I’m sure that loss still hurts deeply.
In the book “Thrive” by Mark Hall, he uses the term to describe people in mentorship as “Pauls and Timothys.” Your friend Phil sounds like a Paul to you, and you were a Timothy. We all need these people to teach and snap some sense (Christian sense) into us when we need it.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:13-15.
We are friends of the King of kings! Thanks for sharing this great article, Christopher! These are truly things we all need to realize.
We are friends of the King of kings!
Thanks for that Nathan 🙂
“We are friends of the King of kings! ” AMEN!
I know how easy it is for us to be lead by our feelings.
We all do it to an extent (Yep, I still catch myself thinking that way).
Someone showed me this Train illustration…
The ENGINE is the FACT, what the DRIVING FORCE of our walk with God is.
The COAL CAR is the FAITH God gives us, it is the FUEL we use to feed our walk with God.
The DINNING CAR or “Coffee cart” is a nice place to go for BREAKS.
A train won’t drive from the coffee cart placed 1st,
but when we have the train driving the right direction we can go for breaks there,
(but don’t stay to long or the engine may go “off the rails”).
So like you said, trust in what we KNOW is true of God (reading His Word is the best source).
Don’t let our feelings drive us, Our faith is the best way to feed the engine (TRUST).
God’s Word tells us that Jesus not only likes US but that He LOVES us!
Really good that He has written it down so many times to remind us!
& that people like Phil are showing it in their lives to encourage us.
Mentorship/discipleship has a big impact…
We need to take others under our wing as others have done for us 🙂
I really love your Train illustration Al Ive. 🙂
Thanks Renee, It sticks with me cause I’m one of those visual learners;)
Helps me to remember that I shouldn’t let how I feel run ahead of what is true. What God says is what is true 🙂
Wow, that’s an amazing Train Illustration! And that makes so much sense! Thanks!
That’s a pretty sweet train! Thanks for sharing the illustration!
Thanks for sharing your article Chris.
It has been such an encouragement, to see not only the struggle, but the victory Christ brings.
Wow, great article, Chris!
Thank you for the article! It both encourages and challenges me. Keep writing!
Pretty legit stuff! Awesome job man. Never stop sharing!
Wow. That’s all I can say.
I’m struggling with the mentality of “Does anybody REALLY like me right now? Am I just annoying?” just like you said you did, so to know that somebody went through it too, is comforting.
Thanks SO much Chris!
Hey Kate, Chris shared so well didn’t he?
Not only the struggle but the victory Christ brings.
Trust what you know is true & remember …
that God doesn’t just
like you, He LOVES you, & those whose hearts are His also love you
Put your confidence in Christ (Be strong & courageous Deut 31:6) & remember to only “Go for coffee” when the “train is on track” 😉
Will do Al Ive! Thanks! (Although, I’m not really a coffee person. But I get what you mean… ) 🙂
I’m so glad it encouraged you, Kate! God bless!
Thank you so, so much for this article. I really needed this.
I love your username!
Thanks, it’s actually the name of my blog. 🙂
Thanks. That was awesome Chris. I really needed to read that
The transformational effect of Jesus’ felt love for you is so, so obvious son!! Thanks for being WHO you are… and thanks again Phil, for being who you were and are to Christopher!!
I sometimes feel the same way. Your article helped me realize it. Thanks so much for sharing your heart!
I honestly can’t thank you enough for sharing this.
I am currently
(my, I have been for a long time) experiencing these devilish lies, as
you so aptly call them. So often when I’m with friends, it’s almost as
if I hear this little voice in the back of my head saying “Do you really
believe these people actually like you?”
And when I let the voice
get what it wants, when I do end up all alone, it keeps me from
searching for God as well, as it whispers in my ear “God won’t help you,
you’re not worthy of His love”
Today more than in a while, I was struggling with these lies, and then suddenly along came your article, just when I most needed to hear this message.
Thanks for encouraging me once more to do the most vital thing in life: Search and know God.
Yes! Those lies about others and God perfectly articulate what I’ve felt at times.
It is so encouraging to hear how God used the article! That’s pretty awesome–something only He could have orchestrated!
Absolutely. Keep up the splendid work!
What a well written, smart, articulate article. Although I may not struggle currently with these issues, I do have a child who does. Thank you for sharing your heart. It’s like getting a glimpse of what my daughter may feel.
rite on, thats legit
This is such a great encouragement. It is so horrible when you feel like no one likes you. I kind of thought I was the only one.Thanks for highlighting the truth that that feeling is the devil’s lies, and that even if no one loves, Jesus does. He is so amazing. What a fab reminder.
It makes it harder to believe that someone would like you when you’ve had people that you thought liked you and then turned on you, know what I mean? People you thought loved you for who you are, not for what you can do for them, then find out you’re wrong. It makes you afraid to believe anyone else would care for you, so you don’t get hurt again.
I have always had a hard time making friends, I really am socially awkward 🙂 Then when I made some, when I actually believed that someone wanted to be my friend. I was let down.
But this isn’t a “poor me” post, I have come to find out ‘What a Friend I have in Jesus’!!!
I can be betrayed by every single person I know and love but Jesus won’t leave me. He doesn’t leave me just cause He hears something He doesn’t like about me, He knows my every thought, even before I think it! Since I have come to rest in who I am in Him, I haven’t struggled so much with not feeling liked, I do have some friends who I know truly care, and a family besides, but I know these are not a constant, something that will always be, but Jesus is.
I’m tired of trying!!!!!
I’m curious what you mean. Would you be okay with explaining a little more? ( I totally understand if you aren’t).
Marry Christmas and God bless!
You okay, Madeleine?
So many people need this message. The one of the best ways to witness to other people is to just be friends with them. That really shows the love of Christ and that, yes, Jesus does like us.
Wow that brought tears to my eyes. I have felt the same way for a while now. In 7th grade I had a really good friend who was a year older than me. When he started high school, he stopped hanging out with me (I guess because I was only in 8th grade then) and I haven’t had any close friends since (it’s been about three years). Whenever I’m around people I feel like I’m just a thorn in their side or––at best––someone who’s their to crack an occasional joke for the rest of the group’s entertainment. I try to combat these feelings, but they come back even stronger.
There’s a girl that I’ve liked––more than liked, really––for nearly a year (since the day we met actually). I’ve prayed that God would someday let her be my wife (I know, that probably sounds like a silly thing to ask God for), but I keep feeling like, out of all the men in the world, I’m the last person God would give such an amazing person––like this girl is––to. I’ve made so many mistakes in the past. So because I feel like an annoyance, as I do when I’m around most other people, I’ve stopped talking to this girl. What should I do? I want to be close to others, I want to feel loved and cared about, but I’m scared that I’ll just be hurt again. I’m scared that nobody really does care about me.
First off, I’m sorry that you feel this way. I know how it is to feel like you’re just a thorn in a person’s side.
But here’s what I would say to you.
Your identity is in Christ.
Think of it this way, Christ, who was perfect, and live the life we could not, died for you. You are the thorns he wore and the nails that pierced him and the spear in His side. You’re the separation from His Father that He bore and the death He endured.
But good news!! Truth is, Jesus did this for you!! He LOVES you; He loves all of us so much more than we can really understand. He did this for you because, He more than likes you, He loves you, and He will not stop.
So. To your first paragraph, my advice is to find your identity in Christ. To sink into His love and His grace and His mercy and His goodness towards you. And then when you have that, you can really push past those feelings you’ve been having and be confident anyway!
As to your second paragraph.
I’m actually happy to see you praying that He would giver her to you one day to be your wife. That’s beautiful.
But, here’s the thing.
Have faith in God.
Some–ok, almost all–of my favorite Bible verses are ones that remind us of God’s goodness. Of how, because He loves us SO much, He WANTS to give us good things.
Take Mark 11:22-24
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain,
‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart
but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Or Matthew 7:7-11
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give
good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven
give good gifts to those who ask him!
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed
by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
There’s so many others I could list for you!!
But it’s all true!
God is good! He is generous!
Believe in Him! Seek Him, find your identity in Him. Matthew 6:33 tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Truly believe, Jordan. It makes all the difference. And I will pray that you will be shown the goodness of our God, and that you will discover just how wonderfully worthy to be praised He truly is!
Ok. That got really long. I hope it helped. God bless you!
This is not me promising that God will give you this young lady as your wife, but I truly believe that, either God will give her to you, or, He has something EVEN BETTER planned for your future.
This is truly what being a Rebelutionary is all about. Making impacts in the lives of other teens. Keep up the good fight everyone!
That did help, thank you so much, Sadie. I think I do believe, I just forget about what God has done for me sometimes. And, man, that devil is such a darn good liar!
Thanks for the great verses and God bless,
I’m so glad Jordan! 🙂 Find a person who can help remind you. Or keep a Bible verse that reminds you of it somewhere on your person. 🙂 Will be praying God’ll give you a shield of faith to wield off the fiery darts of Satan!
You’re so welcome!
God bless you too!
All the best,
Your sister in Christ,
I know what you mean – I feel like that sometimes too. I can just say, there are people who are much better off for having known you.
God works with people who have made the worst mistakes imaginable. I believe that whether He wants you to marry this girl or not, He isn’t letting your past get in the way of your future.
What should you do? I would say, look for the people who are alone, and hang out with them. I don’t know if you do Youth Group, but that would be a great place. Or if you go to school, that would be good too.
I care about you – if you want to rant some more, I’m here.
Thanks 🙂 I’ll take your advice. I really appreciate the support.
I didn’t have time to say this earlier, but — I’ll be praying for you!
Thank you, Sam, that meant a lot to me.
I feel so tired. I’m so tired of loving others without being loved back. Maybe it’s selfish, but I just want, for once, to be loved by another human not based on what I can do for them but based on who I am. I’m always trying help others when I need so much help myself. I try to be strong for those who need me to be strong for them, but, in reality, I’m so weak. I lay on my bed and cry almost every night. Sometimes I don’t even know why. I just feel lonely and forgotten and scared.
So true!!! Jesus is our peace and our hope!
(I kinda want to create multiple disqus accounts just so i can upvote that multiple times 🙂 )
So very true, Sam. I’ve searched and searched for simply a drop of hope, and then i’ll realize i’m standing in front of an Ocean! Jesus is so good to us!
Sam, that was really powerful. God is using you, brother!
I understand what you mean… God has been showing me that I can only be truly free from past mistakes and present fears when i’m so caught up in His grace, i don’t care what others think. God LOVES you so very much! When we are only concerned about our Savior, we can have confidence that only comes through Jesus.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and God bless you as well, Haylie.
Wow Sam. Wow! That’s exactly what I needed to hear. I’m a perfectionist, so I have to constantly remind myself it’s not about me. Thanks for the encouragement!
Haha amen! I -think- that I meant that I struggle with a kind of “works” perfectionism. i.e. “If I do this, God will be proud of me more.” “If I do this, my friends will like me.” “If I do this, God will (yikes) love me more.” But I’ve come to realize, after being a Christian for 12 years, that it’s not about what I do, but what Jesus did. He loves me perfectly. He loves me unconditionally. I can never do anything for him to love me more or anything to make him stop loving me. And what you said reminded me of that. 🙂
Glad I’m not the only one! Not like it makes it acceptable or anything. Lol.
Thank you, Martial Artist, that did help.
Christopher, your articles are always such a blessing to me, thanks for sharing this:)
I too have struggled with self confidence growing up. (Like, a lot!) Now I place my confidence in Jesus. Without Him, I can do nothing. He gives me the strength, courage, (especially courage:) boldness, motivation, hope, love, and faith to get through the hardest things I do everyday, and the hardest things I do everyday are usually not the bigger, scarier things, but the smallest, most ordinary things of all. Most importantly however, He gives me purpose for living, and a reason worth doing hard things for.