The power of myth

Myths come in two forms – societal myths that we absorb as part of growing up within a culture, and personal myths – the things we tell ourselves to get through the day.

Both sorts are so sneaky that it’s hard to drag them out into the light to have a look, to see if they reflect truth, if they contribute to good, or if they’re lies that lead to death.  A good myth will stay on the downlow – a great myth will masquerade as truth, never to be questioned.

And the mythos changes, often without being noticed.  My assumptions about reality aren’t the same assumptions that a 20yo has, we grew up with different societal myths.  My assumptions about reality aren’t the same as my friends from broken homes, because I grew up assuming love as constant.

There’s no way I can cram all the thoughts I have about myths into one blog, but I’ve been thinking about how the ways in which we think, the assumptions we embrace, shape us.

When we make an assumption about reality, we base our choices on that assumption.  We take action based on that assumption.  We infect others with our assumption.

How does this related to Christianity?

Well – we’re encouraged to pray without ceasing, to ask God for things like a child asks his father, in simplicity and trust.  If, in fact, we relate to God as a good Father, this is relatively easy.    If our earthly father wasn’t trustworthy or not in our lives, trust is more difficult.  If we think of ourselves primarily as filthy sinners rather than adopted children (however unworthy) then we could find ourselves ashamed to ask at all.

This is why it is so important to search out truth.  This is why it is so important that truth is Truth, objective and reliable.    Truth is the rock upon which we stand.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

A myth can be a metaphor for Truth, a way to hold the truth in our minds and hearts, to help us understand.  A myth can lead us away from the truth.  Myths are amoral.  And myths are personal.  You hear people say, “My truth”  “His truth” “Her truth” – it would be more accurate to say, “the myth that shapes …”.  Truth cannot be shaped by the individual, truth simply is.  Gravity isn’t part of “my truth” and not part of yours, or babies would be floating into the skies every day.

Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

This is why searching the Scriptures is so important to the life of a Christian.  We know that the Bible is Truth.  We must test our myths against the Word.  We must challenge the prevailing societal myths with Truth, and in the places where society’s myths are lies, we must stand firm with Truth, repeating it, reminding ourselves of what is real, because societal myths are insidious and very strong.  Real effort is required to overcome.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This too is where the fellowship of the brethren is beneficial.   Search, pray, know, trust, rest.   Truth belongs to all of us.

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2 thoughts on “The power of myth

  1. Lisa Laree

    ‘You hear people say, “My truth” “His truth” “Her truth” – it would be more accurate to say, “the myth that shapes …”. Truth cannot be shaped by the individual, truth simply is. Gravity isn’t part of “my truth” and not part of yours, or babies would be floating into the skies every day.’

    Brilliantly put!

    Reply

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