The Fiction I Want to Believe
. . . So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:11
We all have inaccurate ways in which we view the world. Some of these fallacies are accidental, but some are self-imposed. Why would we choose to be wrong? Often, we choose to believe a thing because it’s simply the way we want the world to be. We protect our own thoughts, words, and actions by backing a lie because we seek, not what’s real, but what we prefer to be real.
In my addiction, I once chose to believe that I wasn’t hurting anyone, but that was just a lie I embraced to protect my pills. Later, in pursuing recovery, I accepted the myth that my addiction was simply gone when I turned to faith. The Bible doesn’t say that we’re made perfect in this life, but rather teaches that we must continually work on our struggles. I wanted to believe the easy (but false) thing though – and so I kept relapsing. In recovery now, I’ve had to learn to follow something far greater than my own preferences.
This isn’t just about drug use. I’ve clung to other lies which I’ve had to unlearn. In the early 2000s, as the Muslim population grew in my community, I’m ashamed to say that it fit my geopolitical world view to see them as intruders. Over the years, I’ve come to see them as fellow human beings who’ve been through incredible hardships. God has put these people in my life to share his love with.
We all do this though, often even using our religious views as the excuse for believing the lie we prefer. We do it with our views on race, Covid-19, addiction, and politics. The way we want the world to be however, has little impact on the way it actually is. Denying reality isn’t just ignorant. It’s eventually painful and self-destructive. We’re all guilty of it though. We all have thoughts, opinions, and behaviors that aren’t built on God’s truth or reality, but rather, on our preference, which is a terrible place to find God or truth.
In today’s passage, Paul insisted that as Christians, we must pursue objective truth and reality. We’re not to be ignorant. In the case of today’s passage, he taught that Satan is real and wants to destroy us, even if we prefer it not to be true.
When we’re developing our beliefs about the world we must look, not to our own inclinations, but to something far beyond ourselves if we desire to find authentic truth. God, give me strength and wisdom to abandon my way to know what it real and true.