Christians say a lot of junk we shouldn’t say sometimes. We don’t mean to, but sometimes we say things to comfort or convict others that we think come from God, but they simply aren’t in the Bible. Here are five things many of us mistakenly believe are scriptural concepts.
Things God Never Said:
1. “Listen to your heart.”
See yesterday’s post for my thoughts on this little booger.
2. “Everything happens for a reason” (or, “I’m sure it’s all part of God’s will”).
This is probably the worst thing you could ever say to someone who is grieving or facing stressful trials. And it’s not in the Bible. I do not believe that natural disasters and chronic illnesses happen because it’s God’s will. I do not believe that you trip on the sidewalk and bloody your hands and knees because it’s God’s will. I don’t think it’s God’s plan when your skirt flies up embarrassingly while your arms are full and that huge gust of wind hits you. I don’t think it’s our place to say whether it’s God’s will when an innocent person dies because of someone driving under the influence. I think sometimes things just happen because God allows nature to take its course. And sometimes things happen because there’s sin in the world. I DO believe, however, that for the Christian, all things work together for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).
3. “You should accept Jesus into your heart.”
The concept might be true, because that’s obviously what’s taking place when you believe, repent, confess, and are baptized into Christ, but that phrase isn’t in the Bible, and neither is the common connotation that accompanies it—the idea that ALL we have to do is say a prayer and we’re saved forever.
4. “Take your time. Do things in your own time.”
I heard a well-meaning man say recently that if you have a problem with a brother, you should wait until you’re completely over the hurt feelings, the anger, and the frustration before you go to that brother to try to resolve it—even if that takes years. Actually, God pretty much said the very opposite. He said that if you have a problem with your brother, you should go and resolve it before you try to offer Him worship (Matthew 5:23). Otherwise, your worship will be in vain. God never said, “Wait till you’re ready” or “take your time”. We simply aren’t promised tomorrow, much less years. If you have something you need to say to someone, do it now. Don’t let the Lord come back when you still have unfinished business left to do.
5. ”If you decide to follow God, your life will be so much easier.”
God never said this. As a matter of fact, he said life could be harder if you follow Him. II Timothy 3:12 promises persecution to those who live godly in Christ Jesus. So, if you aren’t suffering some kind of persecution for the stands you make as a disciple of Christ, you probably aren’t a true disciple.
How about a little comfort for your day? You see, while God didn’t say those things you might have thought He did, the things He DID say are even BETTER. Here’s another list:
Things God DID say (and I’m paraphrasing):
1. Don’t Worry. I got this.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
…And while you’re at it, please take a minute on your own to read Matthew 6:24-34.
2. When you’re sad, I will comfort you.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
3. I care about you.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7).
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).
4. I’m not going anywhere.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
“I am with you always, even to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
6. Nothing can separate you from My love.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Don’t get caught up in the common phrases. Feast your mind on God’s Word, and let His words of comfort be your words of comfort.