The Lie of Self

From the cowardice that dare not face new truth
From the laziness that is contented with half truth
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
Good Lord, deliver me.
– Kenyan Prayer, copied from The Little Book of Prayers, edited by David Schiller

When I came upon this prayer during my meditations this morning, I was overwhelmed. I started to look back over my life, and became painfully aware of what ignoring the truth has done for me. In ignoring the truth, I have ruined relationships, lost self-respect, and lived in a grave of spiritual blankness. Whether afraid to look at the truth about myself, too tired to care about the truth about myself, or so filled with ego that the truth about myself had no way in, I sabotaged everything I thought I wanted and loved in the world with the lie of self.

The lie of self – probably the most damaging lie ever told by the enemy. “I’ve got this.” “I know what I need to do.” “The only person I can trust is myself.” “If everyone would just leave me alone, I would be fine.” In all those “I” statements, I was building barriers between me and the world; and more importantly between me and God. I didn’t have this. I didn’t know what I needed to do. I couldn’t trust myself. When I was alone, I was far from fine.

It wasn’t until I was willing to see the things about me that needed to change that I was able to ask for help from others. It wasn’t until I was willing to take the time and energy to do the work necessary to work towards those changes that I could accept help from others. And, it wasn’t until I admitted that my plan wasn’t working that I was willing – and more than ready – to look to God for the answers.

None of this happened because I willed it to happen. I believe God was waiting for me to drop the shield of my own ego and hold up the white flag of surrender. He waited for me, for as long as it took. And when I finally cried out in desperation, His grace shone down with willingness, honesty, openness, and surrender. That’s when I was delivered from my “self” – when I grabbed onto those graces from God and never looked back.

I believe God waits for all of us. I believe His heart beats for ours until we can look to Him for help. I believe His grace is available and ready for that moment always. Those gifts of willingness, honesty, openness, and surrender are available to every one of His children. Furthermore, God is already given us all the courage, energy, and humility we will ever need to carry out His will. All we need to do is go to Him and ask, “Good Lord, deliver me.”

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