When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8.44c)
The first strategy of evil is to get us to believe lies — especially lies about ourselves. Unfortunately, many of these lies came to us through people or institutions we relied on to provide us truth. The Devil uses these lies as source material to further twist the truth and afflict our lives with misery.
Bob gets angry. When asked to rate one of his anger episodes on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most severe he gives it a 3. His wife gives it an 8. Jennifer believes she is the most capable person in her department and can’t figure out why she doesn’t get a promotion. Freddie could never see himself as a vice president in his company but his friends wonder why he isn’t one. Kate over-functions because her kids “need her”, yet they hold her in contempt. Jeff believes he “most-likely” contributes to his marriage problems: When pressed for specifics he can’t think of any. When we embrace lies about ourselves it can manifest itself in many forms like shame, illusions about our talents, irresponsibility, denial, and blaming others.
- Embrace the beauty and dignity of our souls. We are created in God’s image with the indwelling Trinity. Messages that devalue people lead to lies.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit. [Y]our eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30)
- Connect with organizations where “I statements” are encouraged and opinions do not threaten those in power.
- Find reliable influences from outside your “communities”, particularly good books: Books will speak plain when counsellors blanch. (Francis Bacon)
The above list may seem like an odd collection of activities, but they are essential components in countering lies: Human dignity, listening to God, community strength, and critical thinking skills.
Teresa emphasizes that self-knowledge “is a matter of the greatest importance” and without it a great deal of harm comes to us. We must, therefore, vigorously search for truth about ourselves.
For the Second Strategy of Evil: Click Here
For the Third Strategy of Evil: Click Here
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