Yesterday at Second Mile, we studied the majority of Colossians 2, where the apostle Paul challenges his readers to cling to Christ. In Colossians 2:8, he warns: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” With that in mind, we took a look at 10 Lies Christians Believe. These are things that make common sense to lots of people, but just don’t square with Scripture.
1. “God wouldn’t want you to be unhappy.”
Many horrible decisions are made with this rationale. The truth is that God would rather us be obediently suffering than disobediently happy. One of the worst things I’ve heard that flows out of this thinking is, “Our kids will be better off if we just get divorced. It wouldn’t be good for them to be around all this fighting. We just want what’s best for them.” What’s best for us is to obey God, because he loves us and tells us what is best.
2. “Just follow your heart.”
The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). This means that, even if we’re made new in Christ, our hearts are notoriously untrustworthy. Rather, we should say, “Just follow the Bible.”
3. “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere.”
It’s possible to be sincerely wrong. It doesn’t matter if I sincerely believe I can fly like Peter Pan — I can’t. Nobody was more sincere than the 9/11 terrorists and nobody sensible would congratulate them.
4. “If somebody hurts you, you deserve to get even.”
The gospel frees us to be forgiving to those who have really hurt us deeply. As unnatural as it feels, forgiveness is the right thing. I’m reading a great book on this right now by Ray Pritchard, The Healing Power of Forgiveness.
5. “You have to take care of yourself or nobody else will.”
This is a sensitive one because many people have been genuinely hurt in deep ways by those who were supposed to provide and protect them. But remember that God is the provider and protector. Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” God will take care of you. Trust him.
6. “It doesn’t hurt anybody, so it isn’t a problem.”
This is just flat out wrong. All sin hurts. Even things that don’t hurt other hurt ourselves, like injecting your heart with poison.
7. “Nothing is more important than your family.”
Family is important. God is more important. Many are willing to sacrifice their relationship with God in order to provide money or experiences for their families. Tragic.
8. “Education is the key to happiness and success.”
Education is also important. But it’s not the key to happiness. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” God is the key to happiness.
9. “You can’t help it—it’s just how you were raised (it’s just how you are).”
Though we should be true to our personalities, we must remember that we are often warped and sinful. We don’t get a pass on sinful behavior because it’s how we were raised or because it’s part of our personalities. We are responsible and God will hold us accountable.
10. “God must be punishing you for something you did (or didn’t do).”
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This means that God doesn’t punish us if we are in Christ. If Jesus has wiped away our sins (Col. 2:13-14), then we are forgiven. He chooses not to remember our sins or hold them against us. We must believe the gospel and get free!
What else? What are some other lies that we tend to believe?