I am not less. Last week, I typed those words and felt them in the depths of my soul. I am not less. I clicked publish. All was well…until I did my pre-bedtime facebook check. I was surprised to hear from some long lost friends (that I was sure did NOT read our blog). Friends that no longer knew me and could make judgements about me based on my failures. I panicked. Totally. I really felt like I needed to explain about failing that test…
Allow me to share about my previous filter I AM LESS. It can be seen in so many of my “overcompensating” traits. Overachiever, loud and over-the-top, and the “hey, guys, look at me!!!” Some of you might even be able to share some hilarious stories illustrating that to which I am referring. Another time, perhaps. The question remains, how do we discover our filter and begin the journey to changing it?
For me it happened through a Freedom in Christ Bible study. A group of AMAZING women (that I get to call my friends) and I have just finished the course. It is about the lies that we live. Yeah, lies not lives. Lies like “I am less” that I allow to determine my reality and shape my life. Lies that don’t go away when we go to church or pray because we have accepted them as truth in the depths of our being and we don’t even know to let go of them. We struggle with the same things repeatedly and we agree with and feed the lies “I am less, I am inadequate, I am devalued, I am unworthy.” Do you want to discover your lies? Really? It isn’t fun or entertaining. Not like an episode of Downtown Abby (okay – maybe the episode where Matthew dies). I digress.
The way to life (and freedom from lies) follows a difficult road. A road of forgiveness. Not easy, not fun, but the way to life…real LIFE. THIS practice of forgiveness led me to identify my lies.
“Lord, I choose to forgive___for___which made me feel___.”
WHICH MADE ME FEEL…interesting…no one ever asked me how I felt about that offense. Does it really matter? I WAS WRONGED! But after taking time to make a list of anyone who came to mind – and there were quite a few (although initially I was SURE I had no one to forgive…who knew?) I noted each feeling that I wrote down and compiled them : devalued, less important, vulnerable, unprotected, unworthy…(are you noticing a theme?). I found my lies! So now I can just stand up and say, “I AM NOT LESS!” and be done with it. No. Not yet.
The power of the lie is strong. It takes time to replace it with the truth. It feels good to recognize it. But freedom comes in replacing it with the truth. And prayer.
Here is my truth prayer: “I renounce the lie that I am less. I announce (oh yes, out loud!) the truth that I am chosen, precious, loved, and valued.” Choose a scripture that solidifies this truth. I chose Isaiah 43:1-4
But now, this is what the Lord says…“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine…Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you..”
Guess what, I AM LOVED! Yep. 40 days of repeating this prayer. 40 days of replacing lies with TRUTH. 40 days to freedom and life. (Yes, sorry, I did say 40 days – once is not enough, once is never enough). How am I doing? I started this on Wednesday, February 6 (that is 50 days ago in case you don’t want to do the math) and I have said it 21 times. I am not less. I will not stop and will not give up and if I don’t believe this when I finally reach 40, I will simply keep going. BECAUSE I AM DONE living the lie. I know it is a lie and every time I find myself feeling fearful and insecure (like after last week’s post) I am convinced again that knowing it is not enough. I must BELIEVE the truth and if that means speaking it out loud as many times as I have told myself the lies…then so be it! It’s time for a change. Bring on the grace.
The Freedom in Christ Bible study is by Neil T Anderson and Steve Goss. It is not a magic formula. Praying the above prayer will not bring healing, Jesus Christ does that. The entire study helped us to understand the truth of who we are in Christ and how to resolve the obstacles that are blocking our maturity.