Lies, Lies, Lies Blog

I recently stumbled across an old language learning cartoon called Muzzy. Having studied German for 7 years and knowing how brilliant young children’s brains are at acquiring language, I decided to buy a subscription and start my 2-year-old off on 15 minutes of language immersion per day. So that’s it, every day I watch a 15 minute cartoon in German with her. 

I thought she would be the one reaping the benefits, but when I picked up a few German storybooks to read her after a few weeks of watching Muzzy, I suddenly realized that my own comprehensive had drastically improved! It was like reading English. Wirklich, ich konnte alles vestehen als ob es doch Englisch war. Whoops, wrong language! Sorry about that…it just kind of tumbles out now. You see, my German had been deteriorating with years of not using it, so it was a happy surprise to find it suddenly not just a little improved, but a whole lot improved! I wasn’t stumbling around vocabulary I didn’t know. My brain quickly filled in the gaps of unfamiliar words and terms with meaning, just using the context. See, my brain sort of switched back on its foreign language center and was being transformed again, not by intentional, dedicated learning (did that already), just by immersion. 15 minutes a day.  For a few weeks. Holy smokes. 

We’ll come back to this.

Sunday, Pastor Ken talked about Lies, Lies, Lies(but I’m pretty sure he was telling the truth). He started off encouraging us that the closer we are to Jesus, the less likely we’ll be to fall for the lies we’re immersed in, from our enemy, from other people, and just generally from the fallen world we live in. Lies are such a part of our DNA, we don’t even know they’re there, he said. Sometimes, they act as a filter and are so strong, they keep the truth out, even when it’s told to us.

There are 3 common lies that we easily fall into:

  1. People-pleasing: Believing that our well-being and happiness is based on others’ approval of us. TRUTH: We just won’t be liked by everyone. Neither was Jesus. It’s okay.
  2. Performance & productivity: Believing that our worth is determined by how much we do and how well we do it. TRUTH: We are created in the image of God. His performance and productivity, not ours, simply in creating us determine our worth. Thank God. I mean, really.
  3. Positivity: Believing that a faith-filled Christian does not experiences sadness, anxiety, or anger. TRUTH: Jesus experienced all three of those “negative” emotions in scripture. These emotions are just warning lights telling us something’s wrong and encouraging us to get that checked out and fixed.  

And so what do you do to be free of such lies? Well, as Pastor Ken encouraged, you need to immerse yourself in truth: Reading scripture and meditating on it. Praying and asking God to expose the lies and show you His Truth and help you receive it. Inviting other believers to speak into your life and beliefs and listening humbly to wait they say. 

It probably won’t be a magical overnight change, but the more time you spend immersing yourself in Truth, the more your mind will be transformed. I’ve noticed that when I don’t spend daily time in the word, I’m more cynical, sarcastic, and anxious. It’s not really a conscious thing, it just…I don’t know, when I fill my thoughts with God’s thoughts, I guess there’s not really much room for the other things. 

Just like with language-learning, there’s much to be gained with instructed learning and yet it can’t replace immersion. Immersion changes the brain. Immersion transforms the learner. And without immersion, it is difficult—perhaps even impossible—to master a second language.

So if watching a 15-min German cartoon once a day for 2-3 weeks can so drastically affect my own language comprehension, literally changing the way my brain interprets information, can you imagine what 15-min a day, consistently, of immersing yourself in God’s word would do? What if you did more than that? What would it do to the way you see yourself? What would it do to the way you see and interact with others? You can listen to sermons till the cows come home and that’s excellent spiritual nutrition, but there’s no substitute for immersion-learning. So get in the word and watch the transformation begin 😊

P.S. My daughter just put herself to sleep saying “eine Uhr, eine Uhr, eine Uhr,” which means “a clock, a clock, a clock.” Good work, Muzzy.