When I was a kid growing up back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, there was a popular song by Randy Newman called “Short People” … and of course the lyrics mention that short people got no reason to live. Well, at 5’3″ as a grown adult … you can imagine the personal implications. Back in the day, my elementary school teachers would have us get in line and move about the building in height order … needless to say I was always first in line. Kids would use that song and sing it to me constantly … man, what an emotional and mental beating I took. My experiences with other kids shaped my beliefs about who I was … and it forced me to seek the approval of other people. It literally made myself hostage to what other people thought about me. Based on experience, my belief structure limited my ability to “be me” because I was forced into pleasing everyone else … just so they’d like me.
It wasn’t until my 30’s – when I truly experienced His love – I realized that I didn’t need to please other people. I realized that I was born for a purpose and I’m meant to merely play to an audience of One. That was freeing. My irrational belief set had been permanently changed … and it freed me up over the years to do the things The Lord has called me to do. Believe me, at this moment, all kinds of people don’t like me … and that is OK!
Yet, people hold all kinds of irrational beliefs in their lives. Irrational beliefs are negative, self defeating patterns of thinking about ourselves, others, and the world around us that are simply out of context with the real facts. These faulty schemas of believing usually result in the under-valuing or even over-valuing of ourselves and/or abilities. As a ploy of the enemy, these negative mental pictures or images only serve to put chains on our hands and feet, thus making it very hard to be HIS hands and feet. Truly, our faulty believing leads to faulty thinking, and faulty thinking leads to faulty behaving.
These faulty beliefs are based on our life experiences and the things that we have been taught by others … but it doesn’t mean that these beliefs are TRUE! Look, if my friends in elementary school called me “Big Al” and joked that I was a giant … maybe I’d believe as an adult that I was 6′ tall … yet, it doesn’t make it true!
As a societal whole – many of us hold negative, faulty belief sets not only about ourselves … but also about God.
From the things they have read or been told, or by what they’ve seen other people do … too many people believe these things about God:
- He is angry with me.
- He punishes me for my sin.
- God holds my mistakes against me.
- God doesn’t love me like He loves you.
- He doesn’t hear my prayers.
- He won’t love me unless I do XYZ.
- He won’t forgive me unless I do XYZ.
- He wouldn’t take me back.
- He would never forgive what I did.
And each of these ways of viewing God … are simply untrue with the facts. These ways of seeing our Creator just aren’t consistent with the biblical truth of a loving, long suffering, gentle, unchanging God who loved His creation enough to STAY on the cross.
I can’t remember the author, but I think it was Daniel R Silva, who wrote about the grace movement in terms of the Pharisees. He essentially said that the Pharisees spent their lives praying for the arrival of the Messiah … and they didn’t like the Messiah they got. Whereas modern day evangelicals have been praying for a global revival … and a lot of them don’t like the revival they got! Yet, the global charge forward with the biblical truth of grace … is the very thing that frees people from the shackles of faulty believing. And once free from our own chains, we are free to set others free.
As I write this blog entry, I’ve already had 5 people “unlike” me on my blog page. That’s OK, it really is. In my early 30’s that would have devastated me. As a child of The King, and a co-heir to a kingdom … I’m down with it. Why? Because I know WHO I am in Him, and with every last breath that I have I will uphold truth and combat the lies of faulty believing.
The enemy has used lies, distortion, and our minds against His kids for far too long, and despite what the song says, this short person has every reason to live.
Acts 13:38-39 (NIV)
38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.