Satan is a liar. This you know. But did you know that his real victories are not outright fabrications? Not at all. His most outstanding trophies are all about misinterpretation.

And not even misinterpreting scripture, which, admittedly, can be catastrophic. No, I’m talking about his nauseatingly smooth proficiency at helping us misinterpret life in such a way that joy and potential is stolen, dreams are killed, and character is destroyed.

Take my son Noah, for instance. We had a moment today at the climbing wall. I just about short-circuited with frustration because he wasn’t trying. He’d climb up a ways, then give up. And then deny it up and down. Which is weird, because when he was younger he used to excel at everything he tried. He hit he first ball I threw at him. Like, over my head. With a bat. He rode his bike without training wheels first try. He’s a natural athlete, or at least he was, and his lack of effort and quitting attitude was killing me.

So it was mano-a-mano time. I calmed myself down and prayed and listened and finally, a break in the case: “You keep talking about how I was the best at everything when I was little. I can’t be that little boy anymore. I’m always failing you because you want me to be that boy.”

Oh. Nuts.

Downstairs we go, with tears flying. And spent an hour talking and praying. Asking Jesus for help, to find the root, the first time this lie took hold. Invited him into the pain. The lie. Which was that if he disappointed us, we’d give up on him and he’d lose us. WHOAH. But suddenly, release. The feeling of failure was gone as Jesus replaced the lie with truth. I also apologized, told him I love him, that the KIND of person he becomes is far more important than what he accomplishes. In fact, I could care less about what he accomplishes, to be honest. And now he knows that.

So does his garbage can. There’s nine pounds of snot and toilet paper in there. I told him to go take a shower, to imagine that little boy stigma being washed away, gurgling down the drain forever. He said he felt a great weight being lifted off his shoulders. Praise God!

But can you see how my good intentions got misinterpreted by the enemy and presented as a lie? Praise God for his grace in releasing us.