The Truth About Lies
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -- John 8:32
“Don’t let this haunt you” were the infamous words given to me from my head coach after I played a bad game. Okay, I played a horrible game. It was a one-point game late in the fourth quarter and our offense had the ball. I dropped back to pass and threw an interception to an outside linebacker who returned it a touchdown. Now, our team is down by eight, with one more opportunity to get the ball back, drive the length of the field, and score. The result? Another interception. Game over.
Guilt rushed in: “I played horrible and made mistakes.” Then came guilt’s counterpart--shame: “I am horrible, and I am a mistake.” A mental narrative with condemning thoughts like those is haunting. Often, when we fail in life, similar thoughts enter. We take the reality of a mistake (guilt) and pronounce it as our identity (shame). Unfortunately, these thoughts – which appear in first-person “I am” statements – can be difficult to shake because they sound true.
After my two-minute drill disaster, my mom challenged me to sit down, watch highlights from my past games, and write out three statements of truth about my identity as a quarterback to dismantle my self-imposed shame. For those who follow Jesus, a similar invitation exists. Through His death on the cross and victorious resurrection, Jesus took away all of our guilt and shame forever. He writes a new identity for us the moment we receive Him as Lord and Savior. The ultimate highlight! Now, when we confront sin, struggles, and setbacks, our true identity isn’t rooted in our negative “I am” statements but can be replaced with the truth of who Jesus says we are. We are known, chosen, adopted, forgiven, never forsaken, set free, and victorious.
Yes, the truth will set you free. It’s never too late in life to get back up, embrace your true identity, and score.
- Which lies (or negative “I am” statements) do you believe about yourself?
- Which truth statements about your identity in Christ do you need today to dismantle self-imposed shame?
- Which verse(s) will you turn to the next time you battle guilt and shame?
Romans 6:11-14; Romans 8:1-5; Ephesians 1:4-8; Colossians 1:22
“Lord, reveal to me the negative, condemning thoughts I believe about myself. Dismantle shame. Speak truth here. Strengthen my heart to believe I am who You say I am. Thank You for Your grace, forgiveness, and power. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."