Truth: Healing the Wounds of False Beliefs
John the Evangelist makes a point of linking grace and truth.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
As well as Spirit and Truth:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
And also, Freedom and Truth:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Jesus is the truth and the devil is a liar.
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Satan is the accuser of the brethren. (Revelation 12:10) The Hebrew word satan actually means accuser. Jesus said Satan has been a liar from the beginning and the father of lies. (John 8:44) He tries to control and manipulate through destructive lies. How do you know if you have accepted one of Satan’s lies? Satan’s lies bring about rebellion against God’s authority, which in turn brings about fear and shame. This has been true since the Garden of Eden when the serpent’s lies caused Adam and Eve to rebel against God’s authority, then ran and hid themselves because of fear and shame. When we see fear or shame in control of an aspect of our lives, we know we have believed Satan’s lie and have rebelled against God’s authority.
Satan’s lie: You are too bad for God to forgive you.
Jesus’ Truth: Nothing is impossible with God.
Satan’s lie: God doesn’t want you.
Jesus’ Truth: I call you my friend.
Satan’s lie: You are too much of a sinner. God does not want anything to do with you.
Jesus’ Truth: I do not condemn you.
Satan’s lie: You are a helpless victim.
Jesus’ Truth: I have given you authority to overcome all the power of the enemy. Luke 10:19
Satan’s lie: Stay away from church. It is full of hypocrites with stupid rules. It accomplishes nothing.
Jesus’ Truth: On this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not overcome it.
Satan’s lie: You should be afraid of surrendering your will to God. He will take away your fun and make you do something you don’t want to do.
Jesus’ Truth: I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.
The prayer exercise that follows will help you identify false beliefs that are holding you in bondage. After entering into a personal atmosphere of prayer, begin reading through the lies in the left-hand column. If any strike you as something you believe or have believed in the past, read the lie aloud beginning with the phrase, “I renounce the lie that…” Then, prayerfully read the truth in the right-hand column. Allow about15-20 minutes to carefully go through the entire list of lies and counter them with truth. After you have finished going through the list, read the prayer at the end of the exercise. Once you have completed the exercise take a few moments to reflect and possibly journal. Do you have a new sense of freedom? Does your soul feel less burdened
Prayer Exercise for Renouncing the Lies of Bondage and Accepting the Truth of Jesus
We will begin this prayer exercise with some deep breathing.
Take a deep breath, as deeply as possible. Hold it for a second, and then let it out. As you exhale, constrict your diaphragm push the last remaining air out of your lungs.
Again, take a deep breath, as deeply as possible. Hold it for a second, and then let it out.
As you continue to breathe deeply, imagine breathing in the grace and peace of God. As you exhale, release anxiety and stress from your mind and your body.
Continue to breathe deeply and focus on relaxing your body and stilling your mind. Be aware of your neck and shoulders, your back, your arms and hands, even your legs and feet. Tell them to relax. Release all muscle tension in your body.
As you continue to breathe deeply and rhythmically, think of your beliefs that keep you away from Christ’s love, joy and peace. It may be one of those listed above, or it may be something else. Say aloud:
I renounce the lie that _______________________.
I accept Christ’s truth that _________________________
To use one of the examples above you might say:
“I renounce the lie that I am a helpless victim. I accept Jesus’ truth that Christ has given me authority over all the power of the enemy.”
Look at the chart below. As you read through the lies on the left-hand side of the chart, ask yourself, “Do any of these apply to me? Have I said or thought similar things?” If so, read them aloud beginning with “I renounce the lie…. After you have renounced the lie, it is time to embrace the truth. Read aloud the truth statement on the right-hand side of the chart.
Lies vs Truth
|LIES ABOUT ME|
|I never fit in.||God has fit me into his Church as bricks are fit together to make a wall. For the Scripture says: You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22|
|I’ll never amount to anything. I can’t do anything right. Even God doesn’t care about me.||God has a wonderful plan for my life. For the Scripture says: “I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord. Thoughts of peace, and not of disaster. Plans to bring to an end your long endurance of suffering. And you shall call upon me. You shall go to your place of prayer, and I will hear you. You shall seek me, and shall find me, when you look for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)|
|No one will help me. God doesn’t hear to me. Something bad is about to happen to me. I have no reason to live.||
God is standing ready to help me. I will
submit my life to him and trust him with the outcome.
For the Scripture says:
me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;|
in your great mercy turn to me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect me.
I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
The poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his captive people. Psalm 69:16-17, 29-30, 32-33
|Nobody cares if I live or die. God has forgotten about me.||God’s love and compassion are boundless. He will never forget me but will always love and care for me. For the Scripture says: Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15)|
|I have to be perfect, or at least pretty close.||It is okay that I am weak and imperfect, because God’s power is made perfect in my weakness. For the Scripture says: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)|
|My parents, teachers, pastors, etc. are responsible for my faults. I am responsible for other’s faults. I am responsible for my parent’s divorce. It is all my fault that my children have problems.||Every person is responsible for their own actions. For the Scripture says: The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them. “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (Ezekiel 18:20-23)|
|I am responsible for my loved one’s death.||
All souls are in the hands of God. Even
when our loved ones pass from this life, they live eternally with God.
For the Scripture says:
souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.
Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect. Wisdom 3:1-3,9
|I am ugly. I am stupid. Something’s is wrong with me.||I am a beautiful creation of God. For the Scripture says: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I know full well at all your works are wonderful, Psalm 139:14|
|I want to die.||God calls me to fight for my life. For the Scripture says: Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession. 1 Timothy 6:12|
|I am unworthy. I am worthless. I don’t matter.||My heavenly Father has made me worthy. For the Scripture says: Therefore, we also, from the day that we first heard of your fruitfulness in love, have never stopped praying for you, begging that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding. We also pray that you may walk worthy of God, doing all things that are pleasing to him; being fruitful in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God. Be strengthened with his glorious power in all patience and perseverance with joy. Give thanks to God the Father, who has made us worthy to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has moved us into the kingdom of the Son of his love. In him we have been ransomed. Through his blood, all our sins were taken away. (Colossians 1:9-14)|
|Life is too hard. I am cursed. The devil is in control of my life. I am a victim. I am powerless.||Jesus suffered torture and a painful execution for me. It was not too hard for him. Life is not too hard for me. For the Scripture says: It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason, Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Here am I and the children whom God has given me.” Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. Hebrews 2:10-18|
|I know what is best for others and can fix their lives.||God has not put me in charge of fixing people. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. For the Scripture says: I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6|
|I am not normal.||Rejection, temptation, inadequacies, and mistakes are all part of our common humanity. Jesus understands and is always there to comfort, help, and guide me. For the Scripture says: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13|
|I deserve the bad things that happen to me.||Bad things don’t happen to people because they are guilty, because we are all guilty. Everyone has their share of struggle in life. For the Scripture says: Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no!” Luke 13:1-5|
|I am hopeless. I can never change or improve.||Jesus is my hope. He has forgiven me. He has forgotten my sin. He has separated me from my sin. He will continue to work in me to make me into the person he wants me to be. For the Scripture says: Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9,11|
|I am unlovable. People are laughing at me. I am dirty. No one wants me.||I am infinitely loved by Jesus my Savior. For the Scripture say: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5|
|I am trapped. I can’t overcome my addictions.||Jesus can set me free. For the Scripture says: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13|
|I must be in control.||God is in control and works everything out for our ultimate good. For the Scripture says: We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28|
|I am powerless against my addictions.||With God’s help I can choose to overcome my addictions. For the Scripture says: Do not be imprisoned by temptation. Temptation is common to all humans, but God is faithful. He will not allow you to be entices by temptations that are too much for you to bear. Whenever you are tempted, he will make a way for you to escape it. You will always be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)|
|I worry about everything. I know something bad is about to happen.||I do not need to worry because God has everything under control. He fills me with his peace. For the Scripture says: Do not worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything and give God thanks in every situation. Tell God what you need and be thankful. And the peace of God, which exceeds all comprehension, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)|
|I am all alone.||I am never alone. My God is always with me. For the Scripture says: The Lord your God surrounds you with his might. He will save you. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will speak his love to you in silence. He will fill you with joy whenever you praise him. (Zephaniah 3:17)|
|Life is too much for me.||My God is with me, and together we can handle anything. For the Scripture says: Be strong and full of courage. Do not be afraid. Do not be you intimidated at the sight of your enemies, for the Lord your God is your leader. He will not leave you nor will he abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)|
|I am afraid.||I have no need to fear because my God fights for me. For the Scripture says: Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not run away, for I am your God. I have strengthened you. I have helped you. With my own right hand I have fought for your justice, and nothing can take you away. (Isaiah 41:40))|
|I am a terrible wife/husband, mother/father, sister/brother. I can never get better.||God is in the renewing business. Every day I follow Jesus I get a little closer to God and the person God has called me to be. Each day I say “Yes” to God I become a better wife/husband, mother/father, sister/brother For the Scripture says: I thank my God every time I remember you constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:3, 6, 9-11|
|LIES ABOUT GOD|
|God won’t help me. I am too big of a sinner for God to love.||There is no sin greater than God’s love. For the Scripture says: God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8|
|God is punishing me.||God is loves me. He is not punishing me. Everyone’s life has its share of troubles and trials. God never promised to make my life easy. He only promised to be with me during all my trials. For the Scripture says: The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9|
|God cannot forgive me. God has rejected me.||All humans are sinners, but God’s forgiveness has no boundaries. For the Scripture says: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9|
|God never answers my prayers.||God always hears when I seek his will and live for him instead of my own pleasure. For the Scripture says: Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13 You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:2-3|
|LIES ABOUT FAITH|
|Everyone goes to heaven. It doesn’t matter who I live my life.||If I choose to live and walk with God in this life, I will be with in the next. For the Scripture says: Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18|
|It doesn’t matter what I believe. All religions are the same. All roads lead to heaven.||It is not my job to judge others, but God in his grace has revealed Jesus to me. How wonderful. How glorious that I can share my pains and my triumphs, my sorrows and my joys, my shortcomings and my victories with the blessed Son of God. For the Scripture says: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by me.” John 14:6|
|I am spiritual, not religious||Religion is not about rules imposed by worldly authorities. It is about caring for the welfare of others and yourself. For the Scripture says: True religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:7|
|I get my answers from the occult – Ouija boards, spiritists, mediums, fortune tellers, tarot cards, etc. I do what I want when I want to. I don’t care if people get hurt by my actions. I don’t care if I hurt myself by my actions.||Dabbling in the occult can open a door for all kinds of destruction in my life, but For the Scripture says: So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. he acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25|
|My god is nature. My god is the environment. My god is the universe.||
God is in nature, the environment, and
the universe, as the Creator is in his creation. But the creature is not the
For the Scripture says:
turn things upside down,|
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
“You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
“You know nothing”? Isaiah 29:16
|I don’t need anyone else. I can worship God in all alone in a park as well as in a church.||God is with me everywhere, and I can worship him whenever I make him the center of my thoughts, my choices, and my emotions. But God did not make mankind to live or worship in isolation, but in community. For the Scripture says: The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. Genesis 1:18 Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. Hebrews 10:24-25|
|Religious ideas are old fashioned. I am happy with fun and self-gratification. No one believes the god myth anymore.||Fun, parties, and wild times my distract me from my inner need for peace and fulfilment, but in the end, only God, my creator can satisfy. For the Scripture says: Jesus said, “Woe to you, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Matthew 23:25 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Romans 2:8 So, I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as those who do not know God, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24|
|I don’t need God to tell me what I should believe. I believe what I want to believe. I have decided my own beliefs.||
God teaches me truth through the
Scripture and the traditions of the Church for my safety and freedom. If I
make up my own religion, it will lead me to destruction.
For the Scripture says:
is a way that appears to be right,|
but in the end it leads to death.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 14:12, 3:5-6
|If it feels good, do it. I take care of myself. I satisfy my own desires. No one else really matters.||I don’t live to satisfy my selfish desires, but I live to help others. For the Scripture says: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people. Galatians 6:7-10|
|The one who dies with the most toys wins. I have given myself everything I want or need. If I am rich and powerful enough, nothing can stop me.||I will live simply and share what I have with others. God is my eternal security, not my bank account. For the Scripture says: Jesus told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21|
Close with this prayer.
Heavenly Father, I thank you with all my heart that you have set me free through Christ’s obedience even unto death and his glorious resurrection from the dead. I nail all the lies of the enemy to Christ’s holy cross and promise never to listen to them again. I embrace the truth that Christ said would make me free. I rejoice in my freedom. I am free to love you with my whole heart. I am free to love my neighbor as myself. I am free to live without fear or shame and to glorify you in how I live my life. Through Jesus Christ, your Son and my Lord, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sometimes bad habits die slowly. If you have a long-standing habit of believing a lie about yourself, it may take some perseverance to be completely free of it. St. James encourages us, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Write down your renunciation/acceptance statement. Keep it on a notecard or put it on your phone. Read it often during the day. Continually renounce the lie and accept Jesus’ truth so you can experience the freedom Christ came to give you.