Gaslighting is prevalent pretty much everywhere these days. It is as if you need a “secret decoder ring” to figure out the truth. Just what is meant by the term gaslighting? According to Wikipedia, gaslighting includes an “…increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim – having the gradual effect of making them anxious, [and] confused…” [1] Gaslighting works best when the intended audience is fearful, disoriented, anxious, and decidedly vulnerable. NBC News remarked about the “…unfortunate reality that [gaslighting] happens in [both] personal relationships and by public figures to the peoples they serve.” [2]

Gaslighting is designed to manipulate people, affect their emotions on a particular matter by altering what they see and hear, fundamentally changing the direction of their lives. Truth and accurate facts are generally tucked away or ignored completely, maybe even destroyed so that a prevailing agenda can move forward without opposition. Sadly, many are molded by such coercive tyrannies.

            All mankind is being gaslighted daily! Do these symptoms resonate with you?  

            Do you question the reality of life these days?

            Do you question your judgment on life matters?

            Do you feel vulnerable and scared?

            Do you feel alone and powerless?

            Do you have a sense of impending doom?

            Is your world turned upside down?

            Do you feel inadequate? [3]

            These are all consequences of gaslighting activities…

Let’s examine a typical approach to gaslighting and see what corrective measures might be employed. The Bible, beginning in Genesis 3:1, records the very first ever gaslighting event in history. The players include the serpent and the woman. The serpent took the offensive by questioning a vulnerable opponent framing his question to make God out to be a bully, implying that she was being taking advantage of. “Is it really true that God said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?[4] God’s limitation was only one tree not all trees.

It is worth noting at this point that instead of going on the defensive to respond to the interrogation the woman should have gone on the offensive and framed her own question asked at a time convenient to her. Quick responses to questions can often result in saying too much. That was the case when the woman responded to the serpent’s question. “God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.[5] God said nothing about touching the tree.

The gaslighting continued…with an initial conquest in hand, the serpent moved quickly to up the ante by executing the first lie recorded by the Bible. The truth was blatantly sold as a falsehood – “You will not die” (Genesis 3:4). What would a flat-out lie be without a bit of stroking to feed the ego of the intended victim of the crime? The victim, wanting to be fully informed, succumbed to the lure of where the conversation was going. It was just a matter of time and the hook would be set.

One of the biggest principles to gaslighting is that we allow ourselves to believe the lie – we do it to ourselves!

The final score: Serpent – 1, Woman – 0

And what would a good gaslighting be without sharing that with your husband, your wife, your friend, a colleague…? The event had now gone viral!

The outcome, as you might expect, included backtracking in an attempt to neutralize the adverse effects of believing the lie. They knew they had been taken, so “…they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Genesis 3:7). From there actions quickly escalated to hiding, to being afraid, and to passing the buck (Genesis 3:8, 10, 12). Clearly, no good gaslighting would be the same without claiming, “I was deceived” (Genesis 3:13).

The end results included…

  • A once perfect environment was now destined for endless problems that man will never be able to correct. (Genesis 3:18)
  • Where man was once in control of this world, the serpent was now in charge. (1 John 5:19; Eph. 2:1-3)
  • The perfect fellowship with God that man once enjoyed is now marred by sin and needs corrective measures – not fig leaves provided by man, but a Savior provided by God. (John 3:16)

The same serpent who deceived the first family in history is alive and well and working to deceive YOU. Satan is the ultimate gaslighter!

He blinds man’s mind to the truth of God’s word – 2 Corinthians 4:4

The evil one snatches away truth from the heart of man – Matthew 13:19

He schemes against you – Ephesians 6:11

He is a liar – John 8:44

In today’s fast-paced world, factual information is often withheld from you many times creating anxiety and confusion about critical life decisions. You may easily become fearful and feel decidedly vulnerable. You are constantly manipulated to believe deceitful narratives that dominate the public square. Hatred and fear are the prevalent emotions in focus. Don’t be fooled by these attacks. God’s word prevails, trust Him for the information you need to make a difference in your life. The starting place is faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  18  “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”. John 3:17-18

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting, accessed 9/21/21

[2] https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-gaslighting-how-do-you-know-if-it-s-happening-ncna890866, accessed 9/21/21

[3] Above ideas from https://www.verywellmind.com/is-someone-gaslighting-you-4147470

[4] Genesis 3:1 NET Bible

[5] Genesis 3:3 NET Bible

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