We all buy into at least a few of the lies others believe about us.
Not all of them – but some, at least if you’re like me, i.e. a human.
Some lies sting more than others.
Some lies easily roll of our backs.
Some lies we carry with us for an hour.
Some lies we carry with us for years.
As an extremely independent, highly extroverted person, I’d love to think (and sometimes do) that how others perceive me doesn’t bother me one iota – ever. That’s not always true, though. No, I don’t really care – at all – what a complete stranger thinks about me. I also don’t find myself trying to be a people-pleaser when it comes to 99% of people with whom I’m in a personal relationship, even my parents most of the time.
I’m known for giving people the benefit of the doubt, even naively at times. So, if I’m close to you, I expect to be able to be myself and know that you’ll be yourself. That doesn’t mean we’ll act the same, always agree or see eye-to-eye. That would be beyond boring, anyway. That doesn’t mean that we’ll never fight (though I don’t really define “fighting” the same as most) or even need a “time-out” from each other once in a while. What it does mean, however, is we will serve each other in ways that the other enjoys being served (which is rarely the same way we like to be served), and we will grow and learn together. We will show love not devoid of truth and vice/versa. We will be brutally honest with each other, mutually respect our differences and priorities of life, and be thankful for them instead of resentful. No matter how much time has passed, how many miles are between us, or how long it has been since we last spoke, we will love and fight for each other until the bitter end, or at least in my mind, we were never as good of friends as we claimed.
Most of all: We won’t believe the lies Satan tells us about the other person and make sure the other person doesn’t believe them (or others), either. We will be a part of redemption in the life of the other instead of helping to pave a road of destruction.
From experience, that’s all obviously easier said than done.
This is especially true day in and day out in a marriage with a person whom Christ daily uses to show me just how far I am from always acting sanctified. When I don’t want to focus on myself as I should, though, it’s easy to buy into the lies Satan throws my way about him (and about myself and how “perfect” I am compared to him) and not even know I’m doing it. It’s easy to get wrapped up in anger, fear and/or anxiety over lies about a person (esp. your spouse) that aren’t even true. Sure, their actions may not be communicating what you want at that time (and maybe those even need addressed and forgiveness sought), but you shouldn’t judge their heart. Leave that up to God.
This doesn’t mean you give the ones you love a free pass to sin but that you do always give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t believe the lies and help them not to do so, either.