There’s a battle waging for our minds and for the minds of the coming generation. It’s a battle of truth vs. lies. But the good news is that there is a way to choose and believe truth.
“Why don’t the stickers stay on her?”
The maker spoke softly. “Because she has decided that what I think of her is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them. – You Are Special, Max Lucado
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I collect Max Lucado children’s books. I’m guessing I got my first one in the early 2000’s… Maybe 2001 or 2002. I know this because I saw a note in one of them written by my Mom from Christmas 2003. I was 15 at the time, and I know that wasn’t my first.
If you’ve ever heard or seen Max Lucado speak, you’ll know he is a very calming presence. He has an amazing way of translating that same peace into his children’s books. I think it’s partially because that’s just who he is… but I think it’s also due to the fact that he believes truth so deeply.
Over the past few weeks, on the blog and in the Facebook group, we’ve talked about identity. Both our identity and God’s, and choosing truth over lies. Many of Max’s books speak to this, but one in particular is a huge favorite of mine. It’s called You Are Special.
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Today, I gathered my kids up on the couch, and we read this book together. They sat and listened intently. Even the one who thought sitting down to read was a bad idea. They leaned in close to look at the pictures. Their soft breath soon became the only sound other than my voice reading the sweet story.
Truth vs. Lies – when lies become truth (or… when they try to)
This book tells the story of little wooden puppets called wemmicks. These wemmicks were in an epic battle of truth vs. lies. These wemmicks had a curious habit of going around putting stars and dots all over each other. If you were a “good” wemmick… you know, beautiful, talented, charismatic… you’d get plastered with gold stars.
Unfortunately, if you were a “bad” wemmick with rough wood, clumsy feet and little talent, you would get plastered with grey dots.
Punchinello is the main wemmick in You Are Special. He just so happens to be in the grey dot camp. He had so many grey dots that other wemmick’s would just come up and give him grey dots because they figured he had so many that he must deserve it.
Punchinello’s identity became grey dots. And I don’t mean he morphed into an actual grey dot. I mean that he started to believe the lie of the grey dots. Wemmicks were so persistent about labeling him, he eventually just gave in and decided it was easiest to just accept that he was a grey dot.
One day, Punchinello met a happy wemmick who was very different. She had no dots… and she had no stars. She told him that if he wanted to know how she managed to make the stickers fall off, she should go see Eli.
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Is it a Truth or a Lie? Ask the one who knows…
Eli was the carver who made all the wemmicks. The next day, Punchinello worked up his courage to go see Eli. Punchinello, with all his big, grey dots, decided to ask Eli why the stickers didn’t stick to Lucia. Eli answered him by explaining that the dots do not stick to Lucia because she has decided that what her Maker (Eli) thinks, is more important than what the other wemmicks think. Eli then says, “The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers.”
Eli was trying to tell Punchinello that in the battle of truth vs. lies, Eli was the answer. Even though Punchinello didn’t understand right away, Eli told Punchinello to come see him every day so that Eli could remind him how much he cares. Slowly, over time, Punchinello’s dots started to fall away and would no longer stick.
That imagery is beautiful. Eli represents God, and we are the silly wemmicks. How can we stop the battle of truth vs. lies? How can we stop caring about what people think and start living in freedom? By coming to our maker every day. By reading the Bible and praying. So simple, really. If only we would do it.
We live in a culture that is too politically correct to use actual stars and dots; But we do it in more subtle ways. The thing is, though our ways are more subtle, they cut just as deep. In reality, God created us each different for a great purpose.
Truth vs. Lies – What the Bible says
1st Corinthians 12:12-26 says, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
This passage is good news for someone who has been trapped in the battle of truth vs. lies. This is confirmation that you were made on purpose.
We are one body. Not all hands, not all feet, not all eyes, not all ears. We are a complete body, built and created to function as one. We need to stop trying to fit into a box we don’t fit into. And at the same time, we need to stop judging others when they try to go out and do the very thing they were created to do. And we definitely need to stop judging ourselves and others when we go do our best, but stumble along the way.
For some reason, we’re tempted to elevate certain people based on how they appear or what they’ve accomplished. And sometimes… we’re most guilty of putting gold stars or grey dots on ourselves. Usually grey dots.
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Truth vs. Lies… Stars and Dots… and FEAR.
As a child, I was so afraid. Afraid of what people would think of me, mostly. What if I said the wrong thing? Or did the wrong thing? What if I fell on my face, or tripped over my feet?
Then there’s the good ol’ teen years. The years where we have lot of those same childhood fears… but they’re heightened to an uncomfortable level.
Then as a young mom, and a young professional in the workplace. And on and on it goes.
There’s always grey dots to fear. ALWAYS.
But the good news is that we know how to stop letting the labels stick. Go to God. Spend time with him. Let Him remind you of the truth.
Just like Eli the carver created each Wemmick unique and with purpose, you were created by God unique and with purpose. He wants you with all the beauty, smarts, and quirks he gave you. He has an amazing plan that he really wants to include you in.
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Choosing Truth and our Mission for the Next Generation
And we have an important mission as women. Whether we’re moms, Grandma’s, Aunts, Sunday-school teachers, youth leaders, school teachers, or role models… We have a mission to showcase what it looks like to live a life that cares most about what GOD thinks. Forget the opinions of the carpool mom down the road, or the lady that gossips at church, and the lies we see on social media. Forget all that. None of it matters.
When it comes to the battle of truth vs. lies, we have one question, and one question only that we should be asking:
What does God think?
He thinks you are His. You matter. A whole lot. If we believe it, then so will the next generation.
So don’t get distracted by the stars and the dots. Instead, hold on to, and step forward, in truth. Step by bold step. Courage on top of courage, and faith upon faith. You are you.
And you were God’s very good idea.
PS: Don’t forget to grab yourself and your kids a copy of You Are Special! It will become a family favorite, for sure!
Looking for a little help getting your life back on mission and clear in purpose? Grab this free printable all about your priorities… This will help you identify and understand your priorities, while helping you structure your life in a way that reflects those priorities!
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This is so good and so true, Cecily. I know all this, and yet it’s still hard to not worry about what others think or believe the labels others put on us. I was talking with God and wresting with this very thing this morning. Thanks for the encouragement.
P.S. Loving your podcast. So relatable and so good.
Thank you so much, Natalie!