Summary: This is the second in a 4 part series on truth and lies. This message deals with the lies that come our way from the world around us
Truth Series #2
2 Cor. 3:17-18
CHCC – July 3, 2011
This is the second in a series of four sermons about TRUTH. A lot of people believe that all truth is relative. In other words, there is no absolute truth … it all depends on your point of view or circumstance.
I once read about a man who heard someone say: “There are 2 sides to every question” The man replied “Yes, there are two sides to every question… just like there are two sides to a sheet of flypaper, but it makes a difference to the fly which side he chooses.”
A lot of people say that all truth is relative, but it’s not really possible to live that way. There are consequences to setting absolute truth aside. You see, lies can literally ruin your life. And lies can come from a host of sources. Some of the lies we believe come from our own heads. These are often hidden lies that we believe about ourselves. We talked about those kinds of SELF-lies last week.
Other lies come from the culture around us. They can be called Worldly LIES. These lies may arrive in the form of advertizing, educational institutions, philosophies, media, books, magazine articles, TV shows, movies, music etc. So just how reliable are these messages? I contend that most of what the world tries to spoon-feed us is destructive --- but it’s disguised to seem helpful and wise.
James chapter 3 describes the difference between the world’s wisdom and God’s wisdom: The world’s "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
In contrast, God’s wisdom is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:15, 17
Worldly LIES bombard us every day. We must learn to guard our minds against the assault of worldly pseudo-wisdom. One of the most pervasive lies in American culture is this:
1. My worth is determined by my performance …
This “worth equals performance” lie is all around us. It seems that everything is tied up with winning and losing. It’s all about competition and comparison --- good, better, best --- gold, silver, bronze --- win, place, show.
We feel this performance pressure in our jobs or at school. We experience the "keep up with the Jones’" pressure in the neighborhood. We compare our financial success, our family status, and even our spiritual status with people at work, in the neighborhood, and even at church.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: preachers fall into this trap all the time. At most ministers’ meetings the talk gravitates toward attendance figures and offerings (nickels and noses). The implication is that even in the church, success equals worth.
The problem with the “worth = performance” lie is that sooner or later we all come to the end of our success ride. Sooner or later we must focus on an uncomfortable question “Who am I apart from what I do? Am I a human BEING or just a human DOING?”
Since 1985 when I first came to CHCC, we’ve had ups and we’ve had downs. For the first 6 years, it was all ups. We grew about 10% every year and things were going great. I have to admit, I felt like my star was rising! Then trouble hit and we went through a period of decline followed by a plateau that lasted several years. During that time, it seemed that no matter how much I
worked and prayed and tried … we couldn’t seem to get the momentum going again.
I asked myself, was I a success in the first six years and a failure during the next six years? If I believed the LIE that my worth is determined by my performance the answer would have to be yes.
Around that time I heard a radio message from a neighboring pastor, Dr. Harris of Castle Hills FBC. He talked frankly about the ups and downs of his congregation. He said he had learned that the ups were no more to his credit than the downs were his fault. He no longer patted himself on the back for the good times, or to beat himself up for the bad times. He concluded that in a congregation good times come and go, just like the storms that blow through south Texas from time to time.
That was a good thing for me to hear. It reinforced the TRUTH I already knew. My value doesn’t depend on successes or failures. Neither does yours! For all of us, our true value comes from being “fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving heavenly Father.” God doesn’t judge you by the outcome of your efforts. God is pleased with a faithful heart.