I never thought I’d be one to hold onto false beliefs.

There’s this funny/not funny thing we humans tend to do. When we face life experiences, we adapt beliefs based on those events. I never saw the connection until I began learning how to create emotionally layered fictional characters. The technique I use encourages me to uncover one dark moment the character lived through as a young person. Usually, when I discover their defining, painful event, I discover their wound, their fear, and their lie. Often their lie creates false beliefs about themselves and their lives.

Fictional characters aren’t the only ones whose lies define their choices and belief systems. 

On a whim, I tried this technique on myself. I journaled about how, in elementary school, a girl shamed me and turned my classmates against me. Her actions convinced me that, no matter what I did to be accepted, I was not enough.

Though not considered traumatic in the big scheme, this girl’s cruelty traumatized my heart. The false belief I adapted from that event was that being invisible was best, because then people couldn’t tell me I wasn’t enough.

The Lie Lived Out

To look at twenty- and thirty-something me, most people didn’t know I struggled with this false belief. I looked put together. I studied God’s word. I worked at our church. People thought I had life mostly figured out. 

I believed persuading people my facade was the real me would make them believe I was enough. But those who offered their approval didn’t know the real me. If I showed them what a mess I really was—how deep my insecurities ran—they’d flee in the opposite direction. 

5 Ways to Combat the Lies That Create False Beliefs—5 Ways to Combat the Lies That Create False Beliefs—I believed persuading people my facade was the real me would make them believe I was enough. But those who offered their… Click To Tweet

God reveals truth

God could have sat me down for a “come to Jesus meeting.” Instead, He chose a gentler approach. Through a friend, He introduced me to my false beliefs. She shared how she saw through my veneer . . . and she still loved me. God used her to reveal my personal dark moment, my response to it, what my thoughts had been, and the why’s behind my actions.

I grappled with the revelation of all I had done to hide my inadequacy, with the truth that, just maybe, I could be enough. It ran contrary to the beliefs that had felt factual for most of my life. My loving Father showed my lie for what it was: a false belief that crippled my growth as His daughter, a wife, a mom, and a friend. 

Image of a lake with an interrupted reflection which is symbolic of how false beliefs can ruffle who we are and how we perceive ourselves

The truth about false beliefs

Why do I share this? Because, I suspect I’m not the only one who’s hidden behind lies, at times without even knowing it. 

God wants us to walk in truth. But the enemy of our souls strives to keep us chained to wrong beliefs because this prevents us from truly trusting God . . . which enables the enemy to influence us. 

5 Ways to Combat the Lies That Create False Beliefs—God wants us to walk in truth. But the enemy of our souls strives to keep us chained to wrong beliefs because this prevents us from truly trusting God #tellhisstory #falsebeliefs… Click To Tweet

*****I’m not a counselor; I’m sharing from a layman’s perspective.  The following is what helped me work through some of my false beliefs. If you’ve faced abuse, these suggestions may be a starting point, but working with a trained professional may be beneficial.

Here’s relationship expert Leslie Vernick’s clear-cut guidance on what constitutes many types of abuse.  Here’s a link for help at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

How do we combat false beliefs?

The process takes time, trust, and introspection with Jesus. 

  • Acknowledge there may be a false belief God wants to speak truth into. Our Father won’t barge into our lives. He sees our wrong beliefs—how they hurt us—and He yearns for us to live in His freedom. But we must admit there are chains around our hearts.
  • Pray. Prayer and journaling were a huge help for me in understanding why I believed what I did. As God worked me backward by unpacking my wrong beliefs, I understood how I began to hold onto them. He also showed me the impacting events that formed those beliefs.
  • Ask God to show us the truth needed to counteract the false belief. Ask Him for a Bible verse or passage to cling to. If we internalized the lie as children, it takes time to change our perspective about the circumstance and the lie we adopted.
  • Embrace the truth. Ask God to help us train our minds, to make us aware when that lie begins to dictate our behavior, thoughts, and words. Retraining our thoughts is difficult. We must spend time in God’s word and soak our minds in His truth.
  • Speak with a trusted friend or counselor about what we’ve believed. When we verbalize those lies, they begin to lose their power. When others speak truth over us, their words become a balm that soothes healing over our wounds.
An image of clouds reflecting in a calm stream, a reminder that when we release false beliefs and believe truth, we will feel more peace

Conclusion

In crafting a character’s spiritual journey, I ask God to show me the truth she or he needs to learn by the end of the story. As I’ve worked through some of the lies that formed my beliefs, God has spoken truth to my heart which has brought freedom and peace. 

Consider taking a few moments to ask the Lord to show you one of your real life dark moments. Not to draw up pain, but to discover if there are false beliefs you’ve allowed to define current choices and beliefs, about both God and yourself. 

What about you? Would you be willing to share a lie you’ve believed and how God walked you into truth? What would you add to my list about clinging to truth after holding false beliefs?

Next week, we’ll be meeting and linking up at Lisa Jordan’s place!

One last thing: For this week only, I have turned off comments. But, I’d love to hear your thoughts if you want to use my Connect with Me page to send me a private note.

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