6 Deadly Lies You Might Be Swallowing Today

Are you letting these falsehoods destroy your life?

By Josh Daffern

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Sam Ballard lives a tragic life. Now in his mid-20s, he’ll never experience the rites of passage that all young men yearn to achieve. He’ll never finish college, start a career or walk down the aisle with his bride. In fact, Sam cannot walk. Paralyzed from the neck down since 2010, Sam requires round-the-clock care, suffers seizures regularly and has trouble controlling his own body temperature. So what led to such a heartbreaking state for Sam? Something entirely preventable. Sam swallowed the wrong thing.

Attending a party with friends, someone produced a slug and dared Sam to swallow it. Sam’s haunting final words, the last words he would ever say in his life, were “Should I eat it?” Sam couldn’t have known that the slug was carrying the rat lungworm disease, and that the slug now inside his stomach would release a parasite that would attack his brain, paralyze him from the neck down and lead to his debilitating state. Shortly after swallowing the slug Sam became sick and was rushed to the hospital. He seemed to rally but then fell into a coma for 420 days. Sam is now a quadriplegic and is tube fed. Sam’s seemingly innocent decision to swallow a slug on a dare changed not just his life but his family’s life forever. It matters what you ingest. 

Like Sam swallowing a deadly slug, there are deadly lies out there that have the ability to destroy our lives if we believe them. Here are six deadly lies you might be swallowing today:

“It’s okay if it makes you happy.”

For many of us, our own happiness becomes the gauge of whether something is right or wrong. We falsely assume that God’s main goal in existence is to make us happy, that He would never allow us to be unhappy for any reason, so if something makes us happy it must be right for us. This subtle yet dangerous lie makes our own happiness, not God and God’s Word, the ultimate definition of right and wrong. Many people do the wrong thing because in their minds it makes them happy and therefore must be right. Let’s say you’ve got a family and you move into a neighborhood with many young kids. Unbeknownst to you, the gentlemen at the end of the street is a registered and violent sex offender. Do you really want him to do what makes him happy when he walks by the playground? Doing something just because it makes you happy is like swallowing a deadly slug.

“The more stuff you get the happier you’ll be.”

This deadly slug of a lie bombards us hundreds of times each day as we walk past, watch and hear advertisement after advertisement, hawking their products that subtly promise to somehow fill the gaping hole in our lives with their products. Why are Americans in so much credit card debt? Because we’re trying to be happy, and companies have promised us that if we by their products, we’ll be happier.Over the past fifteen years the American economy has grown by 76%, which should make us the happiest people on the planet. Yet Americans on anti-depressants increased by 65% over the same timeframe. Jesus himself wisely said centuries ago, ““Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). The myth that more stuff equals happiness is a deadly slug.

“You are the center of your own universe.”

This subversive lie pervades almost every aspect of our society. From birth, we are bombarded with the idea that we are the center of our own universe, which justifies almost any action as long as it is seen to benefit us in some way. This slug of a lie explains the explosion of social media, where hundreds of millions of Americans are obsessed with broadcasting every aspect of their lives to the planet. This is why “selfie” was Oxford Dictioniary’s Word of the Year in 2013. When our universe begins to orbit around us, our universe becomes small, petulant, and ultimately insignificant. Our life begins to take meaning only when we begin to orbit ourselves around someone much bigger than ourselves (God), but that’s not what the world would have us to believe. The truth is our lives take on much more purpose, meaning and fulfillment when we become smaller and God becomes bigger. 

“Life is about today. Give no thought to your consequences.”

One of the most famous tourism ads in modern times was about visiting Las Vegas, and it was built around a lie, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” It feeds into the false assumption that you can live without consequences, that you can engage in sexual immorality without sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy or the emotional carnage that follows sexual sin. This slug is why you are now facing major health issues as an older adult, because you didn’t take care of your body when you were younger. This lie tempts you to live for the moment and live like consequences don’t exist. The only problem is, consequences do exist. For every single one of us, the greatest regrets we have in life are decisions we made when we were not thinking about the consequences. We swallowed the slug, and now we live with a lifetime of regret. 

“You’re not hurting anyone. You can stop anytime you want. No one will ever know.”

This trio of lies feeds our addictive behaviors and allow us the justification needed to engage in destructive addictions for far too long. The truth is addictions always hurt not just you but those you love the most. You can’t stop anytime you want. That’s why you’re addicted. And the truth will always come out. Everything done in darkness will one day see the light of day. Ask any politician or pastor who had to resign in disgrace after years of hiding a double life. You’re not as slick or as secretive as you think you are. The power of lies is what fuels our destructive addictive behaviors, and only when we embrace the truth will we begin to be set free. Jesus said when we know the truth, that is when we will be set free (John 8:32). 

“I can’t forgive until they pay for what they did.”

We carry so much hurt around with us because we buy into the lie that we can’t forgive someone until they pay for their actions. It seems to make sense, but in the end it only hurts us. That pain and unforgiveness that we can’t let go of until “they pay” becomes the seeds of bitterness that will lodge themselves deep inside our souls and become a cancer inside of us. If we hold to our own twisted logic of forgiveness rather than embracing the truth that Scripture teaches about forgiveness, anger and bitterness will destroy everything good in our lives. You can think of a person right now whose life has been eaten away by bitterness and unforgiveness. It never hurts the offender as much as it hurts the one who can’t forgive. Unforgiveness is a slug that will destroy your soul.

Now in his late 20s, Sam Ballard will never experience the normal life he always expected, all because of a simple dare. As a friend recounted for the press, the decision to swallow the slug happened in a split second. Someone saw the slug and dared Sam to swallow it. Sam immediately took the dare because he thought he was invincible. Like Sam, you may think you’re invincible and immune from deadly lies. But all it takes is a split second for a falsehood or deception to slip past your defenses and lodge itself in your world, planting roots and wreaking havoc in every area of your life.Josh Daffern is a columnist for Beliefnet. To read more from Josh, visit his column Next Steps.

Abundance of rain – A Poem

I love this friend’s work

Suzette B's Blog

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Drip, from above, O heavens, thy distilled refrain –

The sound of the abundance of rain:

An inner satiety that fills without food,

Birthed from a ray of hope; a single word,

A tattoo reminder on adversity’s parchment,

A single word traversing ordeal’s escarpment,

That, be the sound of the abundance of rain:

Where seasons of life are wisdom’s keeper,

Where vision once a cloud veil, now clearer,

Where total strangers pay you compliments;

Having heard of your courageous sentiments,

Where your children bear children; a river

Of posterity overflowing the heart’s quiver,

Where you and a job plan to go separate ways,

Instead you receive your own keys and a raise.

The sound of the abundance of rain in your life

Originating beyond and above the earth’s roof

The kind of rain that requires…

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5 Warning Signs You Are Drifting From God

Do you feel like you’ve wandered away from God?

By Lesli White

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There will be many days in your life when you feel like you are far from God. One minute you feel like God is exceptionally close, and the next minute, you feel like he’s unreachable. There will also be moments you will feel like God has abandoned you when you feel like you need Him the most. Don’t think you’re immune to experiencing these feelings if you’re a Christian. These emotions show up, even for the most devoted believers. We know this from merely looking at some of our favorite Bible figures. Even Elijah and Moses went through periods where they felt far from God. How can you draw closer to God when you feel like He’s far away? Here are five warning signs you are drifting from God.

We Stop Praying

Prayer connects us with God. It’s the way we communicate directly with God. One big sign that we are drifting from God is when we stop praying. This is a sign we’re feeling disconnected from our Heavenly Father. The devil will take advantage of us when we’re struggling with prayer. Some Christians grow up believing that prayers are our wish list to God. If we do everything right, we get exactly what we’re asking for. The truth is, God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we want Him to. He also doesn’t always give us the answers we’re looking for. However, He does have a solution for every prayer we say. Luke 11:9-10 says, “So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the One who seeks finds; and to the One who knocks, the door will be opened.” We may not be able to hear God because we aren’t tuned into the correct frequency.

You Stop Studying the Bible

Another significant sign you are drifting from God is when you stop reading and studying the Bible. The Bible tells us, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Ask yourself when the last time you really opened up your Bible and connected with Scripture was? It is common for believers to actively engage with Bible reading when they’re at church, but fall off when they are at home. It is also common for believers to go through heavy Bible reading periods and then fall off from Bible study. If you notice that you are neglecting Bible reading, it’s time to pick it up again. You can read the Bible outside of the church. Consider opening the text when you’re getting your coffee ready in the morning or getting prepared to go to sleep. Just make sure it’s a time when you can genuinely commit to reading and hearing what God is saying to you.

You Are Frustrated or Angry With God

Frustration and anger are common feelings when we’re drifting from God. This may be a result of something personal that has happened in our lives. We may feel like God has wronged us in some way or simply doesn’t care about us. If you’re frustrated or angry with God, tell Him how you’re feeling. Even when you’re upset with God, He won’t abandon you. He loves you so much that He still wants to be connected with you, even in your sin. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” It may be hard to wrap your head around, but God’s love is unconditional. He knows what you’re going through before you even turn to Him and is committed to getting through whatever situation you’re facing. No matter how angry and frustrated you are with God, He will never stop caring about you. What more can we ask for?

You Stop Going to Church and Worshipping God

Worship is one of the most remarkable ways we connect with God. Many Christians spend their time worshipping God at church, but there are many other places we worship God. Worship is bowing before God. Romans 12:1 describes it perfectly, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” A big sign that you’re drifting from God is when you no longer feel energized to worship. You may start feeling less excited about going to church or bowing before God. The truth is we are designed to worship. If we are feeling anything but enthusiastic about praising our Heavenly Father, we need to examine what’s going on in our lives separating us from Him.

You Feel Lukewarm About the Gospel

This is one of the signs that often goes undetected because it’s not something people often talk about. It’s that feeling that the Gospel isn’t speaking to you as much anymore. There was a time when you felt like your heart was set ablaze for Jesus, then suddenly you just don’t feel connected. You may realize that the readings or the sermon text are going over your head. Nothing is speaking to you. This is a sign that you are becoming spiritually separated from God and feeling lukewarm about the Gospel.

Even when we feel like we are drifting from God, there is hope. The same One who we think we are drifting from is the same One who can pull us back in. God can literally set our hearts on fire in a matter of moments! Don’t lose hope. Try your best to hear what God is saying to you and follow His lead. He cares about you more than you could ever know.Lesli White is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a concentration in print and online journalism. In college, she took a number of religious studies courses and harnessed her talent for storytelling. White has a rich faith background. Her father, a Lutheran pastor and life coach was a big influence in her faith life, helping her to see the value of sharing the message of Christ with others. She has served in the church from an early age. Some of these roles include assisting ministry, mutual ministry, worship and music ministry and church council.   

Family Talk Night Light for Couples

OUT WITH THE GARBAGE AND FLANNEL PAJAMAS

“My lover is mine and I am his.” Song of Songs 2:16

Were you surprised by the definition of romance your spouse offered last night? Romance can mean vastly different things to women and men, but for most of us the word describes that wonderful feeling of being noticed, wanted, and pursued— of being at the very center of our lover’s attention. Women are inclined to define romance as the things a husband does to make them feel loved, protected, and respected. Flowers (if they aren’t too cheap), compliments, nonsexual touching, and love notes are all steps in the right direction. So is helping with the chores. As author Kevin Leman once said, “The greatest of all aphrodisiacs is for a man to take out the garbage for his wife.”

Men, on the other hand, rely more on their senses. They appreciate a wife who makes herself as attractive to her husband as possible. A man wants to be respected—and even better, admired—by his wife. He likes to hear his wife express genuine interest in his opinions, hobbies, and work.

Obviously, these are generalizations, so take your spouse’s definition to heart. Knowing how he or she perceives romance can help you avoid many misunderstandings and disappointments. With a little care and forethought, you can keep the flame of romance burning brightly.

JUST BETWEEN US…

  • What’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever done for you?
  • How do you feel about our personal definitions of romance?
  • How can our differing views of romance strengthen our marriage?

Dear God, thank You for making us unique as a man and woman. Please help us understand and celebrate our carefully crafted differences. We want to become experts at pursuing and cherishing each other. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.