Do you ever notice how something that starts out so small can quickly turn into something huge? Or how something you think will be just a one time thing turns into a habit, or automatic response?
I most certainly have! There have been several areas of my life that this has happened without me noticing until it’s too late. Most recently it has been in the area of lying and people pleasing. Neither of which I am proud to admit, but my hope in doing so is that it will help me to continue to look to God and those closest to me for help, guidance, and encouragement as I tackle this beast.
For me, people pleasing and lying seem to go hand in hand. I desperately want to make sure that everyone around me and those I care most about are happy. That they are taken care of and that they know that I am there for them no matter what. Sometimes that comes out in me telling little white lies. It could be as little as doing something I really don’t want to because I know it’s what they want, or as big as omitting or changing details of my day so they don’t get upset and we don’t fight. Neither of these things are good and I’m learning that allowing myself to think telling a little lie is okay puts me on a path to continue to lie and those lies turn into bigger and more hurtful things when the truth actually comes out.
And let me tell you, the truth ALWAYS comes out!
There are so many places throughout Scripture that talk about lying, it’s actually mind blowing. A few that really mess me up each time I read them are
Proverbs 6:16-19 which talks about lying being one of the six things the Lord hates, Proverbs 12:19 “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment”, and John 8:44 where Jesus tells a crowd of people that the devil is the father of lies. All of these verses are crushing to me as I have struggled with lying so much lately. But they are also a reminder of how important it is to give that part of my heart to Him who has the power to change it.
As for people pleasing, I have one go-to verse. Although I am sure there are many, this one from Paul I have worked on memorizing too many times to count. In his letter to the church in Galatia he writes,
Wow! If I’m choosing to please people, which I do daily, I am choosing not to be a servant of Jesus. When I put it into that perspective that is the last thing I want to choose to do!
I need prayer for these things; I do them without even thinking about it and I desperately want that to change. I write this because maybe you’re in the same boat as me, maybe your desire is to be honest and choose Jesus over people pleasing and it feels like an uphill battle. Please know you aren’t alone in that! Or maybe you’re the person who’s been hurt by the lies of someone close to you and you feel alone in that, and that’s not true either. If I’m absolutely honest with you guys, my lies have hurt Chloë so badly time and time again and it breaks my heart to know that and to feel like I’m stuck and I’m battling to not do that to her anymore.
Whichever side of this battle you are on let’s remember that we aren’t alone! We can come together as a community, looking solely to Jesus, and overcome all areas of this fight. Thank God for Jesus and the fact that we can take heart because He has overcome the world! And let’s never forget the grace that has been given to us as we press on through these trials and to give grace to others as it has been given to us.