Cognitive Dissonance Meets Divine Truth: Finding Peace

Some days are harder than others. Some days people assign motives to you that are untrue. Some days people judge your heart. 

On these days, I experience some cognitive dissonance. I know my heart. I know my intent, and yet, the story others paint becomes reality in their minds. That dissonance happens because what I know and what I experience can feel so very different.

I wonder if our Savior felt these feelings. 

I love these words from David:

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27:14, ESV

When I am wronged, I can quickly develop an outrageous sense of justice. I want to explain what is true. I want people to know my heart. 

And yet, I am not the Holy Spirit. I can’t open people’s eyes to make them see truth. 

Do a search of scripture on this topic.  The author of Psalm 119 prays that God would open his eyes. Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened in 2 Kings 6:17. 

While I cannot make others open their eyes or understand, I can pray to the One who does. His Word tells us that we can be still. He will fight for us. Through my prayers, I’ve learned a few lessons.

1 – I am not the Holy Spirit.

While this learning seems obvious, I must make a confession. I have times where I strive to change the hearts of others. I feel a responsibility to make others understand. I pick up the weight of needing to convince others. In these heavy moments, I am overwhelmed.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9, ESV

In my learning, scripture paints a picture of how complex our hearts are. I have days where I barely understand my own heart. Why on earth would I ever think I can change someone else’s?

The more I read scripture, the more I see that only God through the power of the Holy Spirit can make those changes. I love the scriptures in Ezekiel:

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26, ESV

2 – I am loved.

Untruths and misconceptions do not change my identity in Christ. Regardless of what others may say or think, I am who God says I am. Period.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3:1, ESV

On hard days, I’m not sure why I forget that I am loved. For whatever reason, I can so quickly find myself on a path of destructive thoughts. The lies of the enemy convince me that the truths I know are not accurate.

But God. He gets the final say. He speaks truth. He says that I am loved. Because of my faith in Jesus, I am his child (no matter how I feel at any given moment).

3 – I am called.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:13, ESV

The Lord does not call us to live in bondage to the lies of the enemy. He does not call us to live under judgment. 

I am free. I am forgiven. I am who God says I am. I am called his child.

These truths are so simple, and yet, I need reminded of them so often. Maybe you do too.

Let’s not neglect to meditate on these truth, regardless how simple they are. Feel free to download the mediation pages below to spend a little extra time with scripture in this blog. Scripture is where we can learn how to “wait for the Lord” and find peace. When the lies of the enemy get loud, I love to open my Bible, soak up the words, and let the Truth drown out any mixed messages. We do not serve a God of confusion. His Word is clear, if we would only seek him wholeheartedly.




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4 responses to “Cognitive Dissonance Meets Divine Truth: Finding Peace”

  1. Annelie Orton Avatar
    Annelie Orton

    Thank you for this timely message. I am really struggling at work at the moment with people telling untruths about me and my work. I try to justify myself the whole time. But when I read your message and found that it also happens to other Christians, I felt better. I measure my worth against what people say and then I believe that God feels the same way about me. All lies of the enemy, I know. But it sounds and feels so real. Thank you for showing me that I am not crazy.
    Annelie

    1. tyraharnishfeger@gmail.com Avatar

      Praying for you as I type these words. May your identity be in Christ alone, sweet sister! 💕 (Good to know I’m not alone either! Thank you for encouraging me with your comment.)

  2. Debbie Townsend Avatar
    Debbie Townsend

    For me the problem isn’t so much what others think but the ever present inner voice always reminding me of my failures and my blame for so much in my life. The lie that is repeated to me is that I am beyond God’s grace and forgiveness. My head knows that is not true but still I struggle to accept God’s forgiveness. But after typing this I feel so amazed that God does forgive, even if it takes me longer to forgive myself. 🙏

    1. tyraharnishfeger@gmail.com Avatar

      As I’ve been re-reading about Paul and the forgiveness he was extended (in the book of Acts), I’m reminded that no one is beyond God’s grace and forgiveness. May we all know who we are in Christ. 💕

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