My kids are in the phase of name calling. Some of them think it’s funny…sometimes. Some of them laugh when they call their brother a name but retort with “you’re going bananas” and now they are mad. The names can be hurtful (to a three-year-old) like “you a mean baby” or completely ridiculous like “poopy face” (because no one in this house is walking around with poop on their face!). They all come to me whining and depending on the situation and child’s age my words are different. But, to my six-year-old this morning I quietly said “you know that what he is calling you is not true. You know that name is not what you are or who you are so don’t listen to him.”
You might not be around kids often but there are still names and definitions and assumptions being said about you and to you. Do you listen to them?
There is a battle being waged in our minds.
What to believe, what to listen to, what to ignore, what is right, what is wrong, when to say yes, when to say no, who to ignore and who to agree with. Are you dizzy yet? I believe this is a spiritual battlefield. I believe that Satan did in fact come to “kill, steal and destroy” our hearts, our families, our homes, our dreams, our beliefs and the best place to start is within our minds. To pummel us quietly. We forget that God created us in His image, we forget that “He rescued me because He delighted in me”.
We talk about people’s self-esteem as being low because they don’t believe in their abilities or aren’t very confidant. But, if you are in a quiet room all alone do you actually believe that you are all the great things you show people? I didn’t. For 10 years I have shown confidence outwardly, I have maybe even, in reality, been all those great things but I never believed they were true about me. I believed those people that saw me were misjudging me, lying to me to make me feel better or just didn’t have a good view of reality. I wore a mask (rather well) of a girl becoming a woman who knew she was a creative mom, loving friend, thoughtful wife, secure as a stay-at-home-mom-homeschooler. But in reality it all felt like a mask to me.
The funny, awful, twisted, manipulative thing about lies is that when we hear them enough and wear them around enough we don’t feel the mask anymore. We don’t see what is true and what is not. We hear the lies so much we believe them.
The fight isn’t what words come out of our mouth or what we eat or what we desire or what temptation we give into. The fight is in our thoughts and what we say to ourselves. When my kids scream at me because I won’t give them candy for breakfast I hear, “you never make them happy.” Often these thoughts that bombard me happen in such hectic moments I listen to them in the chaos and keep going. But, we need to recognize the words as a battle cry. We need to take them as an offense so we can enter the defense.
The next time you hear thoughts that tell you who you are and who you are not, take a moment and repeat them. Then ask yourself if they are reality or feelings. Are they are someone else’s opinion that gets to have an opinion? My three-year-old does not get to have an opinion about me being a good or bad mom, his verdict does not get to be truth in my ears. So, I speak truth back to him. I say, “I know you don’t like that I said no but it is better for your body to not have candy for breakfast and obeying mommy is respectful and kind and loving and God asks us to love each other well”. Speaking truth to fight lies really can be simple. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away, it makes you wonder if you have gotten it wrong.
Don’t let yourself be steered by lies that your children or stress or failure throw at you today. Walk in the truth by speaking truth to those lies. When you do, the false words that Satan flings will become more recognizable to you and the truth will start to be believed again!