A Few Good Men, "You can't handle the truth!"? Even if you did not see the movie, it is likely that you have heard this quote. Col. Jessup also goes on to say that we live in a world that has walls. Would you say that this is true of the human heart?
As human beings, we have an innate basic need to feel safe and secure. This was something that Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden, prior to the Fall (Genesis 1 and Genesis 2). They walked in undefiled wholeness, intimacy, acceptance, and safety. There was no pretense, no facades, no defense mechanisms, no insecurity, no bondage, and no hiding. It was well in the Garden.
After the Fall, in Genesis 3, we see a dramatic shift--there are efforts to hide, cover shame, and blame-shift--because the truth can be hard to handle. The tactics that Adam and Eve employed, we still carry out today. We have an inherent need to self-protect because we long for a sense of security and safety in efforts to protect our hearts from perceived threat(s).
We go to great extremes to fortify the borders of our souls by errecting impentrable walls and making vows in our hearts to defy anyone to cross the boundaries we have meticulously set. This often happens in childhood. For example, someone once shared a story with me about getting an answer wrong in class. This young student, now an adult, received a severe reprimand from the teacher as the rest of the class laughed uproariously. At that moment, the child made a vow in his heart to never speak in class again. Additionally, over the course of time, the child developed a mask/facade of pretense; presenting himself as a skilled, knowledgeable, and intimidating. Yet, behind those walls was a shamed, humiliated, and scared little boy.
Is this too much truth to handle? Well, I have good news for you! God has sovereignly equipped us to receive, handle, and acknowledge truth so that we may confront the things that are keeping us bound. The adversary of our soul, Satan, wants us to walk in deception, bondage, and fear. He does not want us to live life abundantly, so he will make things appear too scary or unpleasant to examine and confront.
As 2016 draws to a close and 2017 approaches, may I encourage you to take some time to be reflective? Are there fortified areas in your heart? Are there experiences and memories that you have not been willing to look at or confront? Is there history you have conveniently "forgotten". Are there secrets, unresolved guilt, or hidden shame that has become taboo? If so, please know that God wants you to know (G1097 ginosko: perceive, understand) truth (G225 aletheia: the candor of mind which is free from pretense, falsehood, deceit) so that you may be made free (G1659 eleutheroo: set at liberty from the dominion of sin; made free).
God gives us the grace and strength to do the hard work. We are equipped to look at what may be unpleasant. And, for those who put in the work, God promises to give comfort, peace, hope, rest, safety and security
If this sharing resonates with you, receive it! It is a word from the Lord for YOU. Talk with your pastor or a trusted counselor/therapist. Grab hold of the truths of God. Be free of the pain of your past and walk in the victory you have been predestined to obtain through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess that I have not been open to confronting what has been keeping me bound. I confess that I have learned to adapt, adjust, and function from a place of brokenness. I pray for your grace, help, and strength. I thank you for the truth of your word that I am more than a conqueror. I receive that now by faith in Jesus' name. Amen and so be it according to your word.