Consequences of Believing Lies
When we believe a lie, it will work itself out in our lives as though it were the truth.
If we believe a lie, the consequences will be much the same as if it were true. In a sense we create our own reality based upon our belief. We have all heard the old adage that “seeing is believing,” but the truth is “believing is seeing.” We will “see” whatever we believe. This is partially due to the emotions that come from believing the lies and how these emotions heavily impact the choices we will make.
For example, a commonly reported emotional response that a survivor of childhood sexual abuse might experience is a negative reaction to sexual intimacy. Sexual dysfunction is a common symptom of having suffered childhood sexual abuse.
Even though the person can rationally and logically differentiate between their spouse and their childhood abuser, sexual intimacy still may feel dirty, fearful, and out of control. Because this is so, the person will probably avoid sexual encounters with their spouse in the same way as they might avoid their abuser.
Lie-based beliefs that were established during this person’s childhood experience, such as “I am trapped, cannot make it stop, am dirty, shameful, stained, etc.” became and remain the person’s current belief. Once the belief is established, it continues to have the potential for producing the same emotions it would have if, indeed, it were the truth. Negative emotions felt in any given moment reflect our lie-based core belief. When we are triggered by any particular life experience, what we feel is a direct reflection of what we believe.
This reality is not limited to just sexual abuse. All lie-based core beliefs feel true to the ones who believe them. This is why these beliefs are a problem. Each of us believes lies that, when triggered, will cause us to feel something negative. These emotions have great influence on our subsequent decisions. We may say we are not impacted or controlled by what we feel, but this is simply not so. God designed emotions to have an effect on us and to motivate us in a positive direction. The Scriptures confirm this. For example, “… the joy of the Lord is my strength…” (Neh. 8:10). His joy—an emotion—can strengthen and empower us in the Christian life. Unfortunately, since lie-based core beliefs have the same impact on us as if they were true, the negative emotions we may feel can drain us and make us spiritually lethargic, greatly influencing what we do.
Truth is the Answer.
God desires we bring our lie-based belief into His presence so that He might replace it with His truth. In order for this to occur, we need to position ourselves to receive His truth. Instead of fighting our emotions and denying our motives, we need to be honest about what we feel and why we do what we do. This is taking ownership or responsibility. Until we do this, we remain stuck and freedom eludes us. As long as we deny our feelings, we can never really be free.
If we acknowledge and connect with what we feel, our minds can associate us to the related memory. In this context, we may better understand how we came to believe what we currently believe. Once the belief is clearly identified, we are positioned to ask the Lord for His perspective. When we know the truth, we will then be able to automatically and effortlessly interpret with truth the circumstances that previously evoked negative emotions. This is when the peace of Christ can “rule in our hearts...” (Col 3:15).