“God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares”
Psalms 139:23 TPT
If I am being honest, lying and being dishonest has been a habitual aspect of my character for the majority of my life. It was never something that I was proud of, but I got comfortable with the semblance of control that it gave to me.
As a child growing up in Jamaica, I wasn’t the most popular or well – off in the bunch. I was often the target of bullying and seen by most as an easy target. Eventually I started to notice that the ‘cool kids’ were exempted from the torture that I was enduring and decided that I needed to be a ‘cool kid’ too.
I don’t really know the exact moment that it clicked to me that I could create a public image based on lies and be a ‘cool kid’ but I figured it out at some point. Not only did I figure it out, but I got really good at it. I got so good that my reality at home was completely different from my reality on the streets when I lived in Jamaica.
When I came to America in 2012, I was determined not to live a lie. I lied less once I got here, but I still resorted to it in moments when I felt like I was losing control.
I lied when I felt powerless or vulnerable. I lied when I felt like I was backed in a corner or that I was going to be judged.
I lied when I felt like the truth would hurt others or put me in an uncomfortable position.
I lied sometimes to protect the ones that I loved even though I was doing more damage than harm in the long run.
Lying gave me a sense of control but I never stopped until recently to examine my need for control. It wasn’t until lying and my desire for control started to affect my relationships that I started to dig deeper. Even though the damage of my lies had already been done, there was still room for growth and maturity on my end.
As I began to dig deeper, I realized that:
- I desired control because I learned at a very young age that most things were outside of my control. In acknowledgement of this reality, I did whatever I could to manipulate what was in my reach in order ensure that more things would work in my favor. Life has thrown many curveballs at me and lying was one way to cheat the game so that I could win with the least amount of difficulty possible. The only thing about this form of cheating is that you are guaranteed to get caught and will end up losing more than you thought you would gain.
- My desire to please others often lead me to lie to myself and lying to myself eventually led to me lying to others. I learned that the first person that I needed to be honest with was myself and then I needed to be honest with was God. When I was trying to live a life that pleased others, I was being controlled by the ever – changing norms of society that calls upon you to fit their mold. Fitting society’s mold means subscribing to society’s beliefs and values which is often times contradictory to God’s principles and instructions. This is significant because if God is calling us to walk in honesty then society is trying to persuade us to lie to ourselves and chase clout. We lie to ourselves when we settle for less than God’s best and we allow societal norms to form a wedge between us and our creator. This wedge also prevents us from living according to purpose and being who God called us to be. When this wedge is achieved, we are vulnerable and open to attacks from the father of lies himself who is the Devil.
- My desire for control was an unwillingness in my soul to submit to God’s will and plan for my life. I sought control because I didn’t fully know God and acknowledge his sovereignty. I sought control out of the fear of what would happen to me if I wasn’t in control. Fear is the opposite of faith and my fear of the unknown lead to manipulative tendencies that pushed me away from God, my loved ones and my purpose. The biggest realization that I had when I dug deeper was my distrust of my creator and how distant I was from his presence. I also realized that healing and deliverance would only come from drawing closer to God and by making the decision to trust him with my life. I realized in this moment that my growth and maturity as an individual was intertwined with my growth and maturity in my faith.
Ever since I graduated from college a year ago, I have been committed to growing as an individual and in my relationship with God. It’s not always easy and I may falter sometimes but the more I learn about my shortcomings, the more I learn about God’s goodness and grace.
My desire for control has been one of the biggest projects that God’s mercies and the Holy Spirit has been working on for a couple months now. As always, I am not claiming to be perfect, but I have reached a point in my growth where I can share my testimony.
If anything, that I have written sounds familiar to you then I advise you lean into the discomfort and fear in order to find your truth. God is gracious and his mercies are everlasting. He will not allow us to settle for less than his best and will often send multiple signs/events to facilitate your growth.