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When you build a house you need a strong foundation. Similarly, when you are growing your faith it needs to be founded in something. The Bible is the foundation in which we build our faith. It’s not just where we learn about God, it’s where we meet him. It’s not the only place we can grow our faith, but it is the foundation. The problem is many of the Christian sayings/beliefs that have become commonplace today are not found in the Bible.
My goal isn’t to make you feel bad if you’ve recently said one or believe one of these. Rather, I think we should examine the things we say and what we believe in order to see if they align with the Bible.
Some of the Christian sayings below are not true. Others have an element of truth, but are just not helpful.
Let’s take a look.
The Bible Says It, That Settles It
Maybe you’ve heard this statement or this similar one: The Bible has the answer, what’s the question?
Besides being a lazy approach to reading the Bible, this is not the purpose of the Bible. The Bible is not a book of answers. Of course there are answers in the Bible. What I’m saying is the primary purpose of the Bible is not to answer all our questions.
What the Bible does is much better. The more I read and study the Bible I realize it’s more of a journey rather than a destination. It’s a journey that reveals to us who God is and who we really are.
N.T. Wright puts it this way: “We read scripture in order to be refreshed in our memory and understanding of the story within which we ourselves are actors, to be reminded where it has come from and where it is going to, and hence what our own part within it ought to be.” (Scripture and the Authority of God)
For more read: The Bible Is Not A Book Of Answers
God Wants Me To Be Happy
We elevate the value of happiness way above healthy levels in this country. Being happy is not bad, in fact I’d say it’s a good thing. But when we make a good thing an ultimate thing ultimately it becomes destructive. And we’ve made being happy an ultimate thing.
Does God want us to be happy? Yes… BUT. Not at the sacrifice of what is most important. God is more concerned with our holiness rather than our happiness. In other words, God is more concerned with our relationship with him and with those around us.
Too often we use our happiness as an excuse to get away with something we shouldn’t be messing with. God wants you to be in a right relationship with him and he wants you to love those around you. Will there be happiness there? Sure, at times. But as in any relationship, there will be struggles and difficulties as well. Happiness should not be our top concern.
Heaven Gained Another Angel
This Christian saying is often said after someone passes away as some kind of comfort. Not only is this not true, humans will not turn into angels, it is also not helpful.
I know most people that say this probably don’t even believe it. It’s just something that comes out when you don’t know what else to say in a difficult situation. So, let me give you something better to say. Nothing.
Your presence is SO much more impactful than the words you say. When you are with someone grieving just sit with them. Avoid sayings like this one and just let your presence be felt.
God Won’t Give Me More Than I Can Handle
I used to tell myself this whenever I was tempted to sin or facing something difficult. I’d tell myself this only to give in to temptation a moment later or throw in the towel the next day. What I’ve realized is most of my life I am not capable of handling.
You have more than you can handle. You cannot do it. But God can.
There will be things in your life that are more than you can handle, but it’s not more than God can handle. God doesn’t call us to a life that we are capable of living. He calls us to a life that we are only capable of living with Him.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says come to me when you are tired and burdened. Your burden is too much, you cannot handle it by yourself. Jesus wants to take on the burden so together you can live as he intended.
Sin Is Missing The Mark
Sin is much more than making a mistake or missing the mark. It’s willingly choosing to enter a union with something, or someone, other than God. And through our sin, we have entered into a union with death and the results are everywhere.
Shane Wood describes this moment in his book Between Two Trees like this, “When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they were not merely disobeying a command, although indeed they were. They were not just committing an indiscretion, although indeed they did. The action was more dire, the result more severe. For sin is willful union with something or someone other than God.”
To redeem humanity, to restore union with his creation, God entered into our union with death. He honored our choice by becoming one with flesh and embraced the consequences that came with it. He took on the wages of sin and death… And conquered sin, death itself. The union with death that once held us captive no longer has power over us. He didn’t just die for our mistakes (He did that too). He broke the bonds of our union.
For more read: What Is Sin? (why it’s more than just missing the mark)
Everything Happens For A Reason
I see this saying used after life takes an unexpected turn or tragedy strikes. The problem is it’s just not true.
We are grasping at straws trying to make sense of a confusing and out of control world. The truth is, in this world crap happens. Life is hard. People die. Relationships end. Our health deteriorates. And God is not up there causing these things to happen.
I know I just painted a rather bleak picture. And while I do not believe everything happens for a reason, I do believe that God takes the mess of this world and gives it reason. I have seen it time and time again. God takes the worst of situations and turns it into something beautiful. God takes our mess and points us to the hope in Christ.
Everything doesn’t happen for a divine reason. God isn’t causing everything to happen. However, he does give reason and hope in every situation.
Here’s the bottom line of this article. Our beliefs need to be rooted in the Bible. Though they may sound good, these Christian sayings are not in the bible. They aren’t rooted in anything. They are hollow and empty. Instead, we should base our life on what God has said.
I’d love to hear from YOU! Which of these Christian sayings do you hear the most? What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts below!
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