“You may not want to live in the past, but it sounds like the past is still living in you.”
(Hallmark Christmas movie 2021, male lead to female lead)
Whoever the script writer was, they nailed an aspect of legitimacy lies and the art of rehearsal with that line. The script could have just as easily been flipped too. Rehearsal is not a gender-driven art.
On one hand, legitimacy has to do with validity, authority, justice, fairness, legality. On the other hand, the art of rehearsal is like the ever-ready bunny banging away on his drum, the cadence set by the legitimacy lies embraced.
Whether our mouths have run away with us, or we’ve practiced entire monologues in our minds, it would be a rare one who has not indulged the art of rehearsal. We do well to judge our own thoughts and attitudes.1 Because if we lie to ourselves first, over time the legitimacy lies persuade our heart away from God’s redemptive truth. It becomes harder to hear His Spirit witnessing freshness to our spirit when our soul is defensive and unwelcoming.
Putting His Words into Practice Makes Real
As noted in the above Hallmark movie quote, we can say what we don’t want, but trying to make real with our words what we haven’t made real with our experience leaves us stuck in the past while Jesus is ever walking on.
The art of rehearsal is learned and practiced from a soul conditioned to live by whatever beliefs one has put into their rehearsal cart. Internally rehearsed legitimacy lies become external legitimacy lines uttered over and over. If we ourselves haven’t tired of the worn-out narrative yet, rest assured others around us are tired of hearing it. A clue we need Abba time.
Legitimacy lies and honesty – with God, with self, and with others – don’t mesh well. They messy well. I have often found these contrasts of one’s soul at the heart of Jesus great commandment voiced in Mark 12:30-31:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” (HCSB)
“All” is the Relationship of a Lifetime
To get to the “all” of one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength necessitates engaging and growing an honest relationship with the Lord. When we hit auto-rehearse to ourselves, or anyone and everyone but the Lord, we might release some steam, but nothing significantly changes. “All” constitutes root issues that only the love of the Lord can reach and repair, reconcile and redeem in a be-truthed heart. The process draws us on to return His love. And that in ever-deepening cycles as we persevere in holding our heart open and accessible to his Holy Spirit.
He can and does use others to help love us back to life and truth; but ultimately, no flesh and blood person can provide the fullness of the love that originates in the Lord our God, who is love. Otherwise, we remain caught in the legitimacy lies cycle of seeking our sense of validity and reason for being from others. He reasoned we were valuable for being from before the foundation of the world. Rehearse that over your past, present, and future.
Then pick up a new drum of determination to put into practice making real in your life Proverbs 8:17 – “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.” We find wisdom flowing from the Spirit of Truth to combat and overcome the opposite spirit of the lying one. And we find Love. One ever-ready beat at a time.
Lord Jesus, could we but grasp our part as an understudy of You, how different our rehearsals would be. You are no celebrated actor on the stage of life, and neither are we. You learned and embraced your lines, indeed, your language of redemption from listening only to what your Father said, for you knew what was in humanity.2 You then perfected the art of rehearsal by not only saying what He said, but by doing what you saw your Father doing. You testified of yourself that you could do nothing apart from Him.3 How much less we? And that, crucially practiced ahead of the promised more. From childhood you grew and became strong, you were filled with wisdom, and the grace of your Abba was upon you.4 If we are yours, He is our Abba too. How much more His sevenfold Spirit of grace has been bestowed upon us because of You. Many are the legitimacy lies waiting to be heard, truth-ed, dispelled, and brought to peace in Your presence. Draw us close and closer, by means you deem suitable and necessary, to you who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. O Lord, help us to make real in the experiences of our lives the realness of Your life, that the art of rehearsal and songs of praise may freely flow, directed by the Spirit of Truth, with Wisdom in joyful closeness. Because of and by Your enabling grace, may we be moved to seek You, the Legitimate One – our Validator for life. Amen. So be it, grace upon grace ~
1 Romans 2:1-4, especially verse 4: “Do you take the kindness of God for granted? Do you see His patience and tolerance as signs that He is a pushover when it comes to sin? How could you not know that His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path?” (The Voice)
2 John 2:25 3 John 5:19 4 Luke 2:40