“Dispelling the Beautiful Lie”
Today I want to begin with a harsh truth. You see, most if not all of us believe what I call the beautiful lie.
The lie says this is what really counts: to be wealthy, powerful, influential, attractive, admired, talented, popular, and, above all, valuable. We must make a life that is worth something to others. Worth more than others. The world screams at us to hurry up and matter. Our lives become a reaction to this lie.
According to the lie, we must not be nothings. To be good for nothing is to be as good as dead and death is what we fear most—the death that says our lives have no value.
So we thrash about in a pool of comparison and one-upmanship. Our lives become burdened by the heaviness of getting it right. Our joy becomes brittle, and our hearts slowly break. The only possible outcome of this hurry-up-and-matter hustle is the slow crushing of our souls.
But God offers real life where our brokenness is redeemed. He says we can abandon society’s beautiful lie and allow him to breathe new life into us, his beloved.
I think of the passage in Ezekiel where the Lord leads the prophet through a valley. Ezekiel wrote: “God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bone all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun” (37:1-2, msg). That’s our condition. We’re like dead, dry bones.
And yet God tells Ezekiel to prophesy—to reveal something by divine inspiration—over these bleached and broken things. The prophet does and in the story the bones come alive. Broken things are made beautiful.
Here’s the point: God breathes life into our dead and imperfect things. So if we feel that we don’t measure up, it doesn’t mean we have to climb onto the build-your-worth treadmill. We already have worth. In God’s eyes. By his doing. And our worth is permanent, lasting far longer than any worldly attempt to uphold the beautiful lie could ever last.
Are you seeking your self-worth through redemption in Christ or through striving to gain others’ approval?
Author: Mike Foster