A few weeks ago I moderated a late night panel at the Merge premarital class at Watermark Community Church. The panel included two couples who walked through marital infidelity. In each couple, one spouse cheated on their spouse with someone else. But through forgiveness, hard work, and reconciliation, each couple now shares their painful story to help encourage others to not make the same foolish decisions they made.
We use a text-in number and take questions from the class. Each couple on the panel responds with truth and vulnerability about their past sins and present struggles. It’s always one of the most powerful experiences I get to be a part of in my staff role.
Two people asked almost identical questions:
What were you looking for when you had your affair? What is the lie you believed that led you to have an affair?
Each couple responded to these questions with great responses, acknowledging they believed the lie that an affair would satisfy a craving or fulfill an unmet expectation. At the end of the day (and at the end of the affair), each of the unfaithful spouses affirmed the fact that their affair did not satisfy their longs or cravings.
We’ve all believed lies.
As they responded, I realized how much this very question applies to every one of us. Maybe you’ve never cheated on your spouse or been unfaithful, but you’ve believed a lie.
We’ve all thought we could satisfy a craving or longing with something like food, alcohol, porn, an extramarital relationship, or the approval of man. We’ve thought more money, stuff, convenience, or a promotion will make us happier. Every one of us has at many points in our lives believed that if we just achieved it, smoked it, or bought it, that we would be satisfied.
A few months ago, I wrote a post called 6 Ways to Believe the Truth and Not the Lies. In this post I talk about a game I learned from Watermark’s Senior Pastor, Todd Wagner. The game is called Spot the Lie and is played to help you realize when you’re tempted to believe a lie.
I believe my friends would not have had affairs if they spotted the lie and ran towards the truth. In the same way, their stories remind me I’m just as susceptible as anyone else to believe the lie.
For example, here are a few lies I recently believed:
- That bag of jelly beans will satisfy me and make up for a tough day at work.
- The praise I get from writing a book will make up for my insecurities.
- When people are in a closed door meeting, they’re probably talking about me.
- It’s just a quick look, and at least I’m not having an affair.
- I should expect my children to act like adults. It’s their fault not mine.
Your list must look different than mine, but the temptations are strong and we need to learn how to identify the lies that pull us away from God and from those who love us and want God’s best for us.
Years ago I memorized Numbers 23:19. The writer says, “God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do? Or has he spoke, and will he not fulfill it?”
The verse still reminds me God’s ways are best. Spot the lie. If you’re not sure if it’s real, ask wise friends.
What is the lie you believe that will get you into trouble?
What is the one thing you think will complete you or fill you up?
What is a lie you are believing today?