Identifying lies we believe and the truth that undoes them is important throughout the year. But there seem to be a special brand of lies that come creeping at Christmas time.
Maybe it’s a lie that’s unique to the holiday season, or maybe it’s just a more festive version of a lie you struggle with year round. Just like a tangled mess of Christmas lights, claiming your freedom starts with unraveling what the lie is and figuring out where it ends.
Common Lies We Believe at Christmas
Lies about Gifts
Gifts can be a huge source of Christmas joy or Christmas grief. If your love language is gifts you’re likely prey to many lies about gift giving and receiving. These lies can cut deeply into our desires to feel known, understood, and valued and for those we care about to feel loved by us as well.
Maybe you’re believing lies about your need to feel love through gifts. Shutting down those feelings to try to protect yourself from past hurts of disappointment.
Giving can also feel like a measuring stick of how much we love others. The lie that if you don’t give enough or the right gift that you won’t be loved and accepted can fuel a lot of anxiety over gift giving.
Gifts can also hurt when they reinforce the idea that the giver doesn’t know you at all. The hurt may be true, but the deeper lie that you aren’t worth knowing isn’t true at all.
The truth is your identity and worth are much more valuable than any gift. And the gifts you give others pale in comparison to the love you seek for them to receive. With giving it really is the thought that counts when those thoughts are born out of love and a desire to bless.
Lies About Family
One of the most painful lies we believe about family is that somehow at Christmas the pain we feel the rest of the year is supposed to magically disappear. It’s ok to not put on a happy face and pretend relationships are closer than they are.
Sometimes that forced happy face comes from another lie: that our own happiness isn’t as important as keeping the peace and letting others be happy.
It can also hurt when we long to be with family and aren’t able to. The lies begin to creep in that if your family really cared they would make it work somehow to be with you.
Or maybe it’s the lack of your own family, and the lie that singleness is a death sentence of forever lonely Christmases.
Some lies about family can hurt deeply because of how they’re mixed with truth. Like the lie that you can’t enjoy Christmas after losing a loved one. The pain of loss is very real but it doesn’t get the final say.
The truth is family is much more than blood relatives, significant others, and who is or isn’t there on a particular day. And you don’t have to have the perfect family to have a wonderful Christmas.
These lies try to exploit your deep need for belonging, but the truth is your belonging was already woven into the story of Christmas. Jesus came so that you could forever belong as a child of God in his eternal family.
Lies about Traditions
Traditions can have a lot to do with family and gifts but in general they can bring pressure that Christmas must go a certain way to be good.
The very fear of “ruining Christmas” if a tradition isn’t upheld can often ruin Christmas in and of itself. How many tears have been cried over excessive efforts to fulfill a tradition for tradition sake?
The unspoken lie about traditions is that we must serve them, when the truth is traditions are meant to serve us.
Traditions only stay tradition because someone continues to do them. If a tradition no longer brings joy to you or your family there’s no sense in continuing it. Elf on the Shelf may have been fun the first year, but if it’s adding nothing but stress to your holiday there are plenty of other things you can do to mark the anticipation of Christmas and have fun with your kids.
The truth is you can always set new traditions and being intentional about the traditions you set (or keep) can lead to a better holiday season for everyone.
Lies about Food
Food can be part tradition, part gift, and part family expectation. It also can be a big part self-soothing when lies about family, gifts, and traditions bring more stress than we can handle.
Sometimes the biggest lie we believe about food is that we’ll work off those extra pounds come January.
Ultimately though the big lie food feeds is that we need to seek satisfaction in something other than Jesus.
The truth is our cravings for lasting fulfillment won’t be met in a box of Christmas cookies. But Christmas itself was always meant to be a reminder of the everlasting fulfillment Christ longs to bring to every part of our bodies, souls, and spirits.
Lies about Money
Lies about money weave their way through almost every aspect of Christmas. It can feel impossible to do anything in the holiday season that doesn’t come with a price tag.
Many of us end up in debt believing lies that we have to spend to keep up with relatives’ gift giving, the neighbor’s decorations, or our own feelings of emptiness.
A poverty spirit can be a loud liar throughout this season, declaring that there’s hopelessly not enough. And equally loud can be a spirit of greed, demanding that we live beyond our means.
The truth is we can be good stewards of however little or much we have and enjoy the holiday season. The lies we believe about money this time of year are lies we need to break free from all year long.
When Knowing the Truth Isn’t Enough
It’s usually not that hard to identify the lies we’re believing, and even the truth God has to say about them. But often simply knowing the lie and the truth doesn’t set us free. We can feel stuck wondering what’s wrong with us that knowing the truth doesn’t make anything better.
When you have this disconnect between what your head knows to be true and what the heart believes to be true, it can help to ask the question, “Where did the lie get its power?”
The power behind a lie you’ve identified is often a much deeper core lie that affects far more than the situation you’re examining. Just like untangling a mess of Christmas lights the goal is to find the end of the cord. Yet a simple prayer of, “Jesus, where is this lie getting its power?” will often reveal all you need to know to pull the plug.
If you’re struggling to hear him, or just need some help with a huge tangled ball of lies, working with someone through inner healing can help. The freedom you get from lies you believe at Christmas of course affects more than just one month a year. It’s worth the fight to silence the lies and align your heart and mind fully with truth.
Whatever lies you find yourself battling this Christmas, remember that THE Truth came to set you free from all lies, forever.
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “When you continue to embrace all that I teach, you prove that you are my true followers. For if you embrace the truth, it will release more freedom into your lives.”
John 8:31-32 (TPT)
Don’t let lies steal your joy and freedom this holiday season. You were made for truth, for love, for belonging, and fulfillment of your heart’s deepest longings. This is the season of Emmanuel, God with us. And in his presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
More Christmas Posts from Shelemah