When someone lies to us, many times we can tell they are lying. They give it away with their body language – they will not look us in the eye. They are fidgety. They act out of character – a normally bubbly person will be quiet or an obnoxious person will be kind. Their story does not add up. There are inconsistencies. Our intuition arouses our suspicions. We are good lie detectors.
But oftentimes we will ignore our instincts. We disregard all the signals. We decide not to listen to our god given intuition. But why? Why would we do this to ourselves? The answer is in Proverbs 28:26 (NKJV), “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool…” We trust our own hearts. We throw logic and reason to the wind and we trust our feelings. It feels right and so we go along with it.
“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool…” Proverbs 28:26 (NKJV)
We do not weigh reason against our feelings. We do not seek counsel. We don’t study scripture. We don’t pray about it. Or if we do any of these things, we discount and disregard any wisdom from it. So we lie to ourselves long before we accept the lie from someone else.
Below are some of the lies that our heart may tell us.
1.) “I do not deserve a spouse/family who is consistent with their love.” So we excuse their behavior. We accept their explanations. Instead of making healthy boundaries, we continue to allow them to hurt our feelings and abuse our love. We believe their lie – “You cannot live without me.”
2.) “They cannot get along without me. They need me.” With our spouses, we do many things that they could and should do themselves. Instead of helping them, we make them more dependent. With our children, we hover over them. We do not give them space. We keep them in a state of immaturity. At work, we take up slack for others, and then resent them. We believe their lies – “I can’t do it,” or “I don’t know how.”
3.) “I must have done something wrong for this to happen. I cannot be angry at someone else.” Instead of having righteous anger against the offender, we blame ourselves. We contemplate how we could have done better so that they would not have done that. We are afraid of our emotions – our anger. We are afraid of letting it out – of displaying it. We are of afraid of being out of control. So we believe the lie, “if only you would not have done that, then I would not have been so bad.”
4.) “If they loved me, then they would know what I want.” We don’t tell our spouse what we want or need. We expect them to read our minds. When they don’t (because they don’t think like us), we get mad. We don’t tell them because if we did, then that sets us up to be disappointed when they don’t meet our wants. By not telling them, we safeguard ourselves from being hurt by them, but we still do not get our wants or needs met.
5.) “In order for everything to be okay, I must do it myself.” We are not comfortable allowing others to take care of us. We are bothered when things are not perfect. We must be in control. If we are not in control, we might get hurt. We believe the lie “you are the only person that could do that.”
The rest of Proverbs 28:26 (NKJV) says “but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” In counseling, I help clients to uncover those lies and replace them with biblical wisdom. You may do the same through individual scripture study, worship, prayer, group bible study, and counseling. Seek Christ-centered wisdom outside of yourself to replace the lies in your heart. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV) says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”