I love in Genesis 3 how Adam and Eve eat the apple, hear God coming, and run and hide. When they come out Adam says, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And God says, “Who told you that you were naked?”
That is a hugely profound question, one that still applies today, and one that can be a very useful psychological tool.
I am really fortunate, exceedingly blessed to have grown up among so many atheists, because darn near every day of my life has amounted to going, Wait, is that even really what God said?
Who told you you were naked? Who told you to hide? Who told you to be afraid? Who is defining God for you?
Most of us have a lot of the world’s noise in our heads. We have advertising jingles, bits of songs, memes, stories, and people’s harsh words. Then there is our own chatter, and then there is the enemy at work. He has absolutely no power…….unless you listen to him, invite him in, and begin to entertain and ruminate over all the lies he is selling.
Fear is a liar, always. What is the first sin in the garden? Well, in a way it is actually fear. Adam says, “I was afraid.” There is no shame intended here, we all experience fear, we all have anxieties, we all have worries, we all hide. I am just saying, Who told you that thing that has now made you afraid? Whose voices are playing in your head? Who said that to you?
90% of the time whatever we are listening to is NOT from God. That’s a totally made up statistic, but it’s a pretty good guestimate.
Now, let me risk alienating a few readers but, Who told you you were so toxic you could kill your own grandma just by going near her?? Who told you there was something shameful about exposing your face in public? Who told you that all white people are racists who hate you? Who told you that gender is a totally fluid social construct? Who told you that women are hated and oppressed? Who told you that it is shameful to question science? Who told you that the planet is melting?
Who told you, you aren’t good enough? Who told you you are stupid? Who told you you “have to” trust the experts? Who told you you can’t think for yourself? Who told you everyone hates you? Who told you it’s your job to snitch on your neighbors when they gather? Who told you you have to “earn” your God given rights? Who told you that compliance and social approval is the world’s currency?
I could go on and on, I am just saying, examine your assumptions and ask yourself why you believe what you do. A good chunk of the time we’re just inhaling lies and building elaborate narratives around them. This is often just as true of conservatives and Christians as it is of anyone else.