We are all familiar with saying “it’s too good to be true.” The unfortunate irony of it all is that we believe it. Instead of believing the part of John 10:10 where Jesus says he came so that we’d have life and that more abundantly, we subconsciously take the stance of the beginning part of the verse. In the beginning portion Jesus tells us the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. It’s not for unknown reasons that we do. It’s because of unacknowledged reasons that we believe it’s too good to be true. It’s for unacknowledged reasons that we believe that which is good to us and for us … the blessing for which we’ve prayed that has finally become realized, is not true. It’s for unacknowledged reasons we don’t believe it will last or that we deserve it.
These unacknowledged reasons and resulting beliefs lead to self-sabotage. In other words, we create scenarios in our minds or set up unrealistic expectations so that whatever it is, will indeed be too good to be true. It’s as if we set ourselves up for “I told you so.” But then we go to God upset and hurt because it didn’t work. Mind you, I’ve said nothing about the enemy or other people. This wreaked havoc was no one else’s responsibility but our own.
And so, how do we move forward to keep it from happening again? How do we move forward and live with things being so good that they are true instead of too good to be true? I’m glad you asked!
First and foremost we need to acknowledge the reasons for these beliefs. Yep! It’s time to man and woman up. It’s time to acknowledge the hurt, the pain, the trauma, the abuse, the fear — all of it. It’s time to lean in and face the past that is presently keeping us from our now and later! That’s the only way we’ll be able to live the abundant lives Jesus came to give us. That’s the only way we’ll live into the courage to ask, think and imagine, giving God something to work exceeding abundantly above.
Secondly, we have to get our minds right! Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us in the Passion Translation to demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. Did you have to take a breath after reading that like I did? It gets no simpler than that. We have to demolish and break through and we have the power to be able to do it. No need in piddling around with our heads down wondering why it seems that everyone else is prospering. They’re doing the work. As a result, they are living in the good and true of life.
Listen, time is not slowing down. We have five and half months before 2022 arrives. And yet we still have time to make the decision to do what needs to be done for our present and future. We have time to do the work and reap the benefits of both and, where life is so good that it is true.
Rae Karim, formerly chapel director at Christian Theological Seminary, is now pastor at First Christian Church of Honolulu. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.