The Hard Master Lie

Matthew 25:24 ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man…’

25:25 ‘So I was afraid…’


As I was driving one day God spoke "hard master" into my spirit. I could take you to the very spot I heard His words. In His "Escape from Legalism" plan this was a major turning point. Had I turned the car around and headed in the other direction that day, I couldn’t have performed an action more indicative of what those two words would mean to me.

I often pray for those who haven’t yet met Jesus that the Spirit would expose any misconceptions they have of Him. Paul in I Corinthians 10:5 calls what I am calling misconceptions "arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God." Now God was on the verge of exposing a misconception I had of Him.

The very fact that it had to be exposed indicates that I was oblivious to its existence. Had you asked me to describe God to you, "hard master" would hardly have been part of my description. In fact I was so sure I didn’t think of Him in this way that I began scanning the horizon that day for someone else that I possibly thought of as a hard master. My gaze landed on my husband.

I know now that misconceptions of God can lead to misconceptions of others and that misconceptions of others can lead to misconceptions of God. Since God knew my hard master misconception extended to my husband, He was more than happy to make a stop there.

What an enlightening stop it was!

Because I harbored the belief that my husband was a hard master, I had been assuming his reaction to things would be negative. Therefore, I read every look, every silence, every question of his as negative. My misconception led me to go to great lengths to prevent what I expected would be his negative reactions to things I did. We began talking about this. It was when he asked me why I felt he was judging me--and I could get past putting the blame on him--that I began to realize that it was me, operating under misconceptions; that there were lurking in me arguments and pretensions setting themselves up against the knowledge of Tony.

The light that God shone on my misconception of Tony spilled over, illuminating the companion misconception I had of God Himself as a hard master. It was a subtle thing. For instance, I thought that if I didn’t hear His voice something was wrong. Maybe I had done something making me unworthy to hear Him or not done something I should have done. Maybe He just didn’t want to speak to me. Yet a good Daddy doesn’t talk to his children only when they achieve some undefined level of worth or only when they have followed some sort of difficult-to-discover approach. He definitely doesn’t use the silent treatment with them. Remembering that God is a great Daddy, I was led to different explanations of why I might not be hearing His voice. Maybe He didn’t have anything specific to say to me just then and wanted me to learn that the silences in our communication could be just as sweet as the words.

As the hard master lie began to wither, the truth of who my husband and who my God really were began to blossom in my heart. A new freedom invaded our relationships. Should I be surprised? After all, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."