What lies about yourself are you believing? And who told them to you?
I've been asking myself these questions since reading the following section of Scary Close by Donald Miller.
A few years ago I let a friend stay in my house for a weekend while I was traveling. She had some friends over for a party and I think one of them did something to [my dog] Lucy.
I didn't realize it for a few days, but one night when I was making dinner I realized Lucy wasn't around. She normally lies on the kitchen floor waiting for a scrap of food to fall, but she wasn't in her usual spot. I checked the living room and she wasn't there, and she wasn't in the dining room either. Finally I found her in the bedroom, hiding half under pillows, shaking. I sat down next to her wondering what had frightened her, but nothing seemed obvious. After an hour or so she returned to normal until the next night when I was making dinner and she did it again. After a while I realized that whenever she heard a pan being pulled from the drawer under the stove she ran into the bedroom and hid. Each night I'd go and sit next to her and rub her ears and talk softly to her, but the damage had been done.
I'm not sure what happened, but what likely explains it is that one of my friend's friends decided to teach Lucy to stay out of the kitchen. Probably some party trick he learned about dogs, that if you scare them you can get them to do what you want.
But it bothered me. I didn't like the fact somebody had trained my dog, somebody had gotten to her. I didn't like the fact that every night she had to experience terror over nothing.
I know Lucy's just a dog, but the experience caused me to wonder how many people have been made to fear something because somebody else had an agenda.
With a dog, it's pretty simple. You can just scare them and they run and hide. With people, though, it's more complicated. The way manipulative people train others is by attacking their identity. They clang pots and pans of lies about who they are, how terrible they are, and send their victims running into the bedroom, shaking.
* * * * * * *
Truth is...I bet our heavenly Father doesn't like it when somebody gets to His children and scares them into thinking badly about themselves. Jesus thinks you're to die for! Get out from under the pillows and gleefully gobble the abundant morsels being served up from the Master Chef!