I've discovered that God provides clear directions, including the order of the armor. Putting on the Belt of Truth must come first because all the other pieces are quite useless if we don't believe The Truth. Should we doubt, for any reason, who God is and in what He says, why would we choose to put our faith in Him? Would we dare to raise the Sword of the Spirit without understanding the power of truth?
God's Truth is foundational to our walk as Christian women. The Bible clearly defines our enemy, satan, as the father of lies. Being the exact opposite of God, satan represents everything we must turn from.
Lately, God has been challenging me (again) about the importance of absolute truth. Meaning I can't simply ignore the fact that there are times when I lie by ommission, and other situations where I've been known to fib. See how I want to minimize by using fib rather than lie? Maybe you can relate.
Picture our dear sister in Christ, Maria (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent) who is terrified of hurting other people's feelings. That belief seems noble enough. She doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She cares about people and wants them to feel good about themselves. But is that the whole truth? Actually, Maria really wants people to feel good about her. She's deeply uncomfortable with the idea of others not approving of her. (We've all been Maria a time or two) Her friend continually asks her to babysit. She really wants to attend a weekly Bible study and believes that God has called her to join this particular group. Her husband has encouraged her to take time to fill up on God's Word with other supportive women.
You can probably see where this is going. If Maria tells her friend she needs a day off from babysitting she might inconvenience her friend and earn her disaproval. So rather than being faithful to God, herself, and honoring her husband's wishes, she continues to lie (yes, lie) when her friend asks if she can babysit. The conversation goes something like this.
"Hey, Maria. I really appreciate you babysitting. I've got a ton of errands this week, do you mind keeping the kids again?"
Maria's guts are churning. She is becoming resentful by her friend's ongoing requests and mad at herself for choosing "man" over God and His plan for her. She replies dutifully, "Of course, I'll do it. I love babysitting your children." Lie. Lie. Lie. Maria is completely disnhonest about her feelings and desires.
Next time her friend asks the same question, still to scared to speak the truth, she tries another dishonest route. "I'm so sorry. I can't do it this week, my mom's coming to stay with us and I have so much to do." Lie. Lie. Lie. She makes up an excuse rather than letting her yes's be yes and her no's be no.
Let's rewind the clock and watch Maria stand on the Truth with love.
"I'm not going to be able to babysit on Tuesdays anymore. I'm starting a new Bible study."
That's it. Plain and simple.
I'm so blessed be in a friendship where we don't feel the need to explain ourselves. What freedom! I can call her and she can say, "Can't talk now. Can I call you back?" No explanation or drawn out reason. Simply: I can't talk now. The even better part -- I can do the same with her. We have faith in God and in each other. There is no need to seek approval from each other by being dishonest. We can rest in Christ and the truth that we love and care for each other no matter what.
The reason I'm focussing on these seemingly "little untruths" is that I've heard countless women share their fears in relation to simple truth telling. My concern is how can we possibly stand against the BIG BIG lies of this world, if we are unable to tell the truth in basic daily life with family, friends, coworkers, and even other Christians?
Ladies, as princess warriors, we're not in a popularity contest. Granted we want to be grace-filled, loving, kind, and encouraging, but if we're tossing the Belt of Truth aside so we can lie, we're missing the mark.
Today, when you put on the Belt of Truth, take a minute to focuss on God's amazing truths found in His Word. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to nudge you (in my case maybe shove) when you start to speak an untruth. Ask God to fill you with His truth in every situation and relationship. Ask Him for the courage to seek His approval before the approval of others. After all, it's His approval that truly matters.