Friday, October 18, 2013

Lies the Enemy Tells Me - # 3: 'You are Disappointing'

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

There were several similar lies that all generated around the same time in my life; I struggled with how to articulate them until I realized that they weren't just similar, they were all different ways of expressing the same thought.

But 'You are Disappointing' is not the same as 'You are Flawed'.  Lie #2 deals with a misconception about who I am, Lie #3 is about what I do.

I would put this in late childhood.  I was a reader and a dreamer...and my farm family relatives were practical, hard workers.  'Book smarts' were nothing compared to 'common sense'.   Good grades were not valued over hard work.

And I was not good at seeing things that needed doing, let alone doing them.  I'd much rather read a book than pick strawberries.

Lazy.  Won't amount to a hill of beans.  Not pulling your weight.

I heard all of that at one time or another and I didn't know how to refute it.  Especially if I got caught reading while everyone else was working.


Consequently, I eventually trained myself to work extra hard when the critics were around.  Cousins would go off and socialize, but I would stay with the aunts, washing dishes, cleaning up...I felt like I had to do more work just to be thought equal, because I had to overcome the negative expectations everyone seemed to have.

They didn't, of course.  That was the lie.  Oh, we had our cross wise moments, but the enemy took those negative opinions and turned them into a curse.

And the curse caused me to become a people turned me from Mary into Martha, trying to earn approval by what I did.

It almost always backfired.  I remember one day, somewhere around grade 7 - 9ish,  when we were doing yardwork.  I tackled a job that was really too big for me. I wanted to achieve something that would bring approval.  But that task was so big I couldn't even make a dent in it.  I labored at it and labored at it but got nowhere...and then I got into trouble for my obvious attempt to get out of doing any work by pretending to work away at something I couldn't move.

I was devastated and went crying into the house.  That time, I did eventually tell my side and got heard and believed and actually got an apology...something that I don't ever remember happening at any other time...but, as I'm sure everyone knows,  no apology completely heals the wound.  There was still the knowledge that I had been perceived as being lazy and unproductive and calculating.  And that still hurt.

That lie still influences me.  I still fear disappointing; being thought  a slacker, a bad return on the investment, untrustworthy,  a sham, out of place, judged and found wanting.  When I am out of my own space, I still push myself to DO when others are wiping their hands and heading off to fellowship.  I feel awkward if I don't know what I can do.

I don't want to disappoint...people.

And that, my friend, is exactly where the enemy wants us.  Worrying about what people think instead of what God has meant for us. Because there's always something someone said that he can then repeat to us with a sinister twist, to make sure we interpret it in the worst possible way and then take it to heart.

Because that's not all I  heard, you understand.  There were awards I won, things I achieved, words of affirmation...some from the very people who had expressed their disappointment in me at other times.  But because of the lie, I overlooked or dismissed those things, frequently believing I really didn't deserve them.

Because of the lie.

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, of of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. - Gal 1:10


But here is the familiar truth...

For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb; I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  All your works are wonderful, I know that full well - Ps. 139: 13-14

I wasn't looking for this, but there was another promise that on the same page:

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;  - Ps. 138:8a

The 5th day in Rita's study guide spoke of battles; the battles that are God's battles that we try to fight  in our own strength.  As I studied this out, I suddenly realized that striving to please people, to be found worthy and acceptable to people is an indication that I am fighting in my own strength.   Because

When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. - Prov 16:7

If my focus is truly pleasing God, HE will handle my relationships with those around me.  That is a battle that I do not have to fight.

That is one battle, one lie, that I am releasing. 

Here are a couple of other verses that I found on my journey, because you never know what verse will speak to whom:

"...I am pleased with you and I know you by name." - Ex. 33 17b

"For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD  was pleased to make you his own." - 1 Sam 12:22

And, even though I've already referenced this verse in this series, I'm going to list it again, because it speaks against this lie, too:

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  - Eph. 2:10

It's easy to forget that I have specific things I'm to do...and if I try to please others, I really am, perhaps, getting in the way of someone else who's trying to do the task that God meant for them.

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