Pants on Fire

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(John 8:44)

Right now, I’m striving to take the excellent advice of an older lady given to me back when I still counted my firstborn’s age in months. She told me not to take anything kids say or do as teenagers personally.

In the difficult moments, I remind myself of this advice, though with varying degrees of success. At such times, I try not to think of my kids so much as young adults but more as very tall toddlers.

With that image firmly(ish) in mind, my aim is to be amused rather than angry; treating teenage temper tantrums with the same degree of hilarity that I did the time my son was three and answered my stern admonition to behave with, “I am being have!”

***Note that in his preschool pronunciation, ‘have,’ rhymed with ‘stave’ and should not be confused with the verb as we are accustomed to reading it (ie-May I have a donut?.***

To that end, I was thinking about some poor behavior-inducing deceptions my oldest is currently believing and acting on. These are lies any of us might believe – and sometimes mistake for humility – at one time or another. You probably know the litany: I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, nobody likes me, everybody hates me, etc.

As I was pondering how to get my teen to see past these lies to the Lord, a funny thought hit me.

But before I tell you what actually made me laugh a little on the inside, bear with me and forget for the moment that when Jesus called the devil “a liar and the father of lies,” His aim was not to encourage the depressed but to oppose those who refused to listen to Him.

Lest we think our Lord is permissive (as some opine), He was actually associating His critics with the satanic.  Heck, within minutes of uttering these words, He was almost stoned by the crowd. Perhaps there’s a post in there, too, but let’s shelve it for now. Follow me back to where we were before I chased that rabbit…

Nearly every time I hear this quote about the devil being the father of lies, it is maybe a trifle out of context but meant to encourage someone struggling with self-esteem; specifically someone who is believing lies about their own value or whatnot.

But rather than arguing with an ancient enemy who has more experience twisting truth than we have in dodging it, I thought it might be a lot more fun just to concede this point. Score one for team Abaddon, ya know?

What I have in mind is something along the lines of, “Darn it all, you’re absolutely right. I don’t have a worthy bone in my body. What a wonder that God would trouble Himself save me, useless hunk of animated clay that I am!  And yet, He has done it. Doesn’t it just accentuate His perfect love and His goodness?”

Somehow, I do not think praise is the response demonic deception is intended to evoke…

Even so and all kidding aside, how much more jaw-dropping the light of His mercy and grace is when superimposed upon the blackness of my heart. The mere thought of it only makes me love Him more. The truth of it brings a gratitude beyond words.

Oh who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Lord!

… And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
(Nehemiah 8:10b)

15 thoughts on “Pants on Fire

  1. I uttered the same words about not taking my kids’ words personally myself about 14 months ago when we started fostering. And you are so right about that! Because they are children, and some are from hard places, and they just don’t get it because sometimes as their sweet, yet granted sometimes sassy, little brains just haven’t fully developed. And that’s just how it is. We love them anyways, but they just arent grownup yet! It’s hard to remembsr that at times though! I bet especially when teens! Ill need your level of patience in about 5 years Heather!

    “Score one for team Abbadon” – that was hilarious!! I love your approach too here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband and I are constantly reminding each other these days! But there are lots of sweet moments, too. But yes – their brains are still developing… and after a long, dark season, our Father is reminding me to laugh more. ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sure did. I have 5 kids. My oldest is 13 and she has struggled big time. The attitude is strong and I know it’s bc she is dealing with so much emotion about growing up. It’s been rough. My other kids are open books and mostly easy… So far lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are each different, and I am constantly reminding myself of that, too. So far, my easiest has been my middle. Our oldest has really been a firecracker from the womb, though he’s had his good moments. 🙂

        I only have three – a fact which used to distress me. However, after many years struggling through chronic migraine, I have to admit God knew what He was doing! I have several friends who have 5 or more. Even the best parent among them all struggles with it. Just the good ol’ sin nature!

        Liked by 1 person

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