By Collin Ross
A Roman soldier’s belt was used to support the sword and breastplate and provided a place for bronze plates to hang. The belt was always worn, whether or not the other pieces of armor were put on that day. Similar to how the belt was daily worn, believers are called to meditate on both God’s truth and personal integrity every day to counter the enemy’s deceit.
I grew up in a theatrical family. When my cousin married his wife, rather than host a standard rehearsal dinner, my family celebrated the occasion by writing and performing a two act musical. I have always loved the thrill of the performance. It’s simply fun to become someone else for a while.
Unfortunately, for many of us, our performance is not contained to the stage. We are afraid to show our real selves, and so we go about our days living behind a mask of our own making. We play a character that may resemble our true identity, but one that conveniently lacks those unfortunate aspects of ourselves that are embarrassing, sad, or flawed.
Of course, desiring to present the best version of yourself to the world is very natural and very human. When I first met my wife, you can bet I put my best foot forward! I smoothed over those rough edges at the start, but as our relationship deepened, I dropped the facade, trusting instead that our love was strong enough to overcome my flaws. Had I not ended the performance, I would not now know the true depth of her affections for me. She knows me, and she loves me.
Our enemy is a liar who wants to isolate us from the radical love of the Father. From the very beginning he has sought to corrupt our view of God, leading us to believe that we cannot trust our heavenly Father (Genesis 3:5). When we mistrust God, we come to believe that to secure His affections, we must present to Him a sanitized, albeit false, version of ourselves. But this could not be further from the truth, and it is paramount that Christians live in the truth.
Paul urges believers to put on the belt of truth. The fundamental truth of the gospel is this: God’s love for us is stronger than our sin against Him. Like a belt, we must strap this promise to ourselves and cinch it tight, for it holds everything else up.
One of the most powerful ways to combat the enemy’s lies is to live truthfully. Live without falsehood, hypocrisy, or performance. This is only possible when we trust in the truth of God’s word. As the psalmist writes, “The entirety of your word is truth, each of your righteous judgments endures forever” (Psalm 119:160). Let God’s Word overpower and drown out the incessant chatter of the enemy, and allow His promises to disarm your fears and bring you out of hiding. Above all else, remember that the Word made flesh, who is full of grace and truth, came not to redeem your imaginary self, but the real you, warts and all.
Put on the belt of truth, for Christ knows you, and He loves you.