The Cain dilemma; on manure and freedom
“The best ammunition against lies is the truth..."
The grass isn't greener on the other side, there's just more manure.
A long time ago, there was a little girl and that little girl loved being herself. She was happy, free, and bold. She'd never met a stranger but called everyone a friend. She loved herself just the way God had made her. She was a bit taller than the other children, a bit more awkward maybe, but she was proud of who she was. This little girl posessed a great many gifts and loved to share them with the world. But one day she heard a still small voice, a voice that told her she wasn't good enough, and it came from everywhere. She heard it through her mother and father, her teachers, her siblings, and suddenly she was viewing all of her experiences through this small, annoying, deceitful voice. The voice she heard, and the lies it said pervaded all of her thoughts and actions. Suddenly she was withdrawn and needy. Kids, seeing her insecurity, began to pick at her because she became an easy target. The lie had done it's job, it had shut her down, shackled her to a worldview that most never become free from. She was in a prison formed from a lie, and held fast by deceit.
That little girl who believed a lie, that was me. I was shackled to it for years; the lie that I was never good enough, and I believed everyone thought that. It was as if I had this scarlet letter across my forehead that was big enough for all to see. I thought if God could grade my life, I'd be getting a big fat "F."
This specifically created rifts within my own family. I believed that they all saw me as "not good enough," and I began to play the constant game of comparison in my head. This led to years of strained relationships with my mom, dad, and my little brother. I couldn't accept myself, and made it excruciatingly hard for others to as well.
The other day I sat through a sermon on family and realized that I'd inherited some fallen DNA, and I'd let myself become susceptible to a lie that was as old as Cain and Abel. The sin of comparison; the belief that the grass was really greener on the other side. Today I opened my inbox to an email link from my brother that contained a short monologue which disclosed that he too, for years, had compared himself to me.
How silly that both of us had been comparing ourselves to each other, each intimidated by the others talents, each believing the worst of ourselves. How much pain, suffering, and missed opportunities could we have saved ourselves if we'd simply believed in how God had made us? How much bitterness and heartbreak I would have saved myself from if I'd simply known the truth?
But that's the good news isn't it? Jesus' truth sets the captives free! I've never felt more free than at this very moment. My chains are gone, the chains that held me fast to a lie that has colored my view for years! The chains that caused bitterness, hurt, heartbreak, grief, rifts, and brokenness. This is the gospel that's so exciting, this is the Jesus that changes lives forever, not just in heaven, but here and now!
Hallelujah, free at last. Yes, Hallelujah, free at last.