I recently spent a week with some amazing women at our annual retreat we take together. We share our lives, our successes, our struggles, our fears and our failures, personally and professionally. We pray together, sing together, study God’s word together and cry together – so much so that last year, we had to ration our tissues and keep them well beyond their usefulness because we were running out.
We give each other travel tips, clothing tips, make up tips, strategies to better organize our lives, and most precious of all, we encourage one another by telling each other the truth.
One year Jill gently told me that most of the clothes I was wearing were not flattering my shape. (Ouch!) Georgia reminds me that I’m too busy and I need to slow down. Wendy encouraged me that I was a good writer (when I doubted myself). Kendra told me I was a kindred spirit friend. I absorb their words like delicious food; they fill me, nourish me, and help me stay the course. These dear women also ask me hard questions about my life, my priorities, my longings, my relationships, my habits, and what specific things God is telling me to do and to change.
The writer of Hebrews says, “Take care, brothers (and sisters), lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:12,13 ESV).
These warnings apply to all of us. No matter how long you’ve been a Christian or how many times you’ve read through your Bible, what position you hold, or accomplishments you’ve attained, you can still develop an evil and unbelieving heart and be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We’ve seen it happen among the best Christian leaders. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re above falling down hard or slowly drifting away from the truth.
My prayer for you is that you would not miss God’s best by believing Satan’s lies. I don’t want you to mess up your life or your family just because you’re too proud to listen to the feedback from those who care. All by ourselves, we aren’t capable of recognizing lies because our hearts are masters at self-deception (Jeremiah 17:9) and our very nature prefers lies over truth.
So friends, here are four hard questions that I want to ask you so that you may not drift, fall down, or become hardened by sin’s deceit.
1. Do you have real people (not just Facebook friends) in your life who will tell you the truth, who will warn you and encourage you? If so, who are they?
2. When they have spoken truth to you have you received it and profited from it or do you resist it and refuse to listen?
3. Do you share honestly and openly what’s going on with you so that if you are falling away from truth or becoming hardened by the lies of Satan, someone would know before your outward life crashes?
4. Finally, if you answered no to any of the first three questions, what is your action plan to invite truth tellers into your life and heart so that you can become all that God has for you?
We need God but we also need one another. Today, invite someone you know to be a truth teller in your life.