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Monday, January 11, 2016

Truth in 2016 - One Word 365

I enjoyed doing the 'One Word Focus' last year in lieu of any resolutions.  Last year I chose "Fearless," and learned much about myself in the process. This year I am choosing to focus on the word: Truth.

As I explained in my last post about addressing fears, I realized that I needed to embrace the truth about situations in order to stand firmly on faith.  The Bible teaches quite a lot about the truth, but my favorite verse on the topic has to be John 8:31-32:

IF we hold to His teachings, abide in His word, learn them, believe them, apply them, THEN we will know the Truth, and the Truth will set us FREE! That's amazing!

Jesus IS the way, the truth, and the life. I know that on this journey, I must only draw closer to Him if I want to uncover the truth about anything. (John 14:6)

My focus on truth is mostly centered around becoming more aware of the lies I believe about myself, the lies I believe about God, the world, and other people, and the lies I tell that may seem 'harmless' or 'insignificant' or even are not lies in the telling, but lies because I do not tell.

I want to uncover the parts of my life that have been hidden for too long, because I buried, neglected, or felt ashamed of the truth.  I lied to myself when I believed I should not share the testimony of my past with others, because I was ashamed of different parts, or afraid of what others may think of me. God has redeemed me, called me his own, and my past can be used to share His glory.  There is no better way to be free from bondage, than by speaking the truth.

I want to learn how to immediately identify lies the enemy tells me based on Scripture and who I know God to be. I know some of these lies I encounter on a daily basis:
"You aren't worthy of love."
"You are too _____(varies with what I am struggling with - fat, lazy, forgetful, etc) to be loved unconditionally."
"You will never be enough."
"You are not a good _____(varies - in all the roles I have - wife, mother, daughter, ministry partner, friend, etc) and never will be." (John 8:44)

I know these are lies, from the 'father of lies' - but I want to more quickly fire back with the truth - the Word - the sword, to cut through them. I know God's Word tells me He loves me so much He gave His son to die for me, while I was still a sinner. I know God's word tells me that I am saved by grace through faith, not of my own work, so there is nothing I can do to be 'enough.' I already am, because of Jesus. I know that I am in each life role for a specific reason, at this specific time, and God is using each role to refine me, and each person to shape me into being more Christ-like, and I am the exact person He wants for that role.  I am going to put more specific scripture up in my home to help me memorize and fight those lies.

I want to learn how to constantly tell the truth in love and not be ashamed of my true feelings, or afraid of conflict, but to kindly share the truth with grace at all times. I want to be able to set honest, clear boundaries with others that are true to my own heart. People pleasing is tough, and not wanting to cause conflict is tough, and both cause us to tell little lies. "Can you do ___ for me?" Truth: That's not a good time, it will be very inconvenient, and I'd rather not. What I say: "Sure!" which is another way I lie. Or "Does it bother you when ___?" Truth: Yes, yes it does, and I wish you'd stop it. What I say: "No, I hadn't noticed it." I want to become better at voicing my truth in love, and not worrying about what others think. (Ephesians 4:15, Proverbs 12:22)

I want to be better at choosing the most true-to-me activity for my time. I will often lie to myself and act as though social media or television is relaxing and good for my spirit. The truth is that I feel much more alive and at peace after reading, writing, coloring, hand-lettering, exercising, spending time outdoors, with friends, or soaking in a bubble bath. I want to choose things that truthfully make me come alive, not the things that just scratch the surface. I want to stop lying to myself and letting those things that are 'easy' be done in the name of recreation, when they are not the true ways I unwind.

I am looking so forward to embracing truth in 2016! Do you have a one word focus?

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