“I never once thought that. As a matter of fact, I viewed it totally differently.”
Her revelation was eye opening. For years and years, I’d believed things that just weren’t true, and they had affected our relationship. As we ventured deeper into the conversation, she revealed her own set of beliefs about my perspective that I was able to refute.
It might not have been such a blow, but this was my sister I was talking to...my oldest and dearest relationship. We’d grown up together…been through the hardest of times together…shared the greatest of times together. Yet, aspects of our relationship had been hijacked by lies in our heads.
It got me to thinking. How many other of my current relationships were being damaged by the lies of the enemy?
It’s easy to swallow his lies sometimes. Easy to be offended. ”She didn’t answer my call. She must be avoiding me.” “He was short with me. I must annoy him.” “They didn’t invite me to that get together. They must not like me.” We can be so gullible around our own thoughts sometimes.
It might not be so bad to be gullible if thoughts didn’t lead us somewhere. She didn’t answer your call, so you don’t call anymore. He was short with you, so you get short with him. They didn’t invite you, so you barely talk to them anymore. How many of our relationships are governed by wrong assumptions and hijacked thoughts?
I’m just asking the question this morning, because I couldn’t tell you how many of mine are. The further I explore this concept, the more I realize that often the relationships I’ve built are a reflection of the lies the enemy feeds me about me. I’m awkward…talk too much…panic too often…unreliable…unrelatable…horrible at chit chat…much better at words on paper…boring… The list goes on.
And it even affected my relationship with a sister whose been in my life almost since I was born. It was shocking to find out things I had believed for decades weren’t true at all, but I think I was more surprised that she had believed things too that weren’t true. It wasn’t just me.
It isn’t just you. If we aren’t having intentional and vulnerable conversations in our relationships, both of us are likely believing something about the relationship that isn’t true. And many of us are okay with that, as long as we don’t have to be more vulnerable.
Vulnerability is a risk, but it’s the bond that holds people together. You can only have surface, shallow relationships without vulnerability. The surface, shallow ones are the kind that are a dime a dozen…the kind that you will never miss when they are gone…the kind that keep you busy but not really satisfied.
But to be vulnerable is to open yourself up to hurt. It means that you have care about the relationship. It brings more responsibility to work on it. It also means that the relationship will be attacked by lies.
Why? Because the enemy is a loner. He has no idea what it feels like to be in relationship. He only steals, kills, and destroys. He can’t experience connection or friendship.
And he’s jealous. He hates love. Hates peace. Hates unity. He especially hates it when relationships are effective in spreading these things.
So he attacks, and he starts internally. Because if he can get us to believe lies, we do his work for him. We tear down the relationship. We back away from the relationship. We refuse to risk in the relationship. Sometimes we even stop trying in all our relationships, assuming they are all the same.
It made me so angry at the devil when my sister and I uncovered his scheme. So many years wasted in false beliefs. So many times being together, but not really “together”. So many ways that I didn‘t reach out when I wanted to. All because of lies.
Maybe it’s time that you had a conversation like this too. Maybe it’s time that you were brave and reached across the rift to someone who is on your heart. Maybe it’s time that you offered more of yourself to someone who you’ve been withholding from.
Don‘t do the enemy’s work for him. Search out those lies and bring them to light. It destroys them before they can destroy your relationship.
I’m so thankful my sister was brave enough to reach out to me in vulnerability. That action on her part has already healed and strengthened our bond. It has also affected all the rest of my relationships as I become aware of potential lies that I may be believing.
And that one action has maybe even impacted you now as you read this. Do the work. It’s worth it.