A long time ago, a young man and a young woman fell in love and decided to get married. Several months before their wedding day, they decided to attend some marriage counseling sessions, knowing that this would help them to identify any future problem areas on which they may have disagreements– such as how many kids, financial issues, and how to handle the in-laws.
The pastor with whom they were meeting gave the engaged couple an “official” personality test, designed to determine any possible problem areas in their new life together. The young woman eagerly filled it out, wondering what wonderful things she would find out about her and her future husband’s relationship when the results came back. She was in for a big surprise!
When the next week’s marriage counseling session came around, the young couple sat before the pastor and were told that the test showed that the two of them should not even get married. Should not get married! The test showed that they were quite incompatible. This was certainly not the report that either of them was expecting to hear.
Obviously, my husband and I did not listen to what a test had to say about us and we continued on our path to wedded bliss. 23 years later, here we are–still best friends, more in love now than we were then. Hopefully, we are a bright and shining testimony that, with God at the helm, any relationship can work.
But as I remembered this incident many years ago, I started thinking about we should never take anything at face value. We have to be very careful to not believe everything we hear. Just because it is on the 6pm news or your pastor said it does not mean it is true. There is only one place we can find the Truth and that is in God’s Word. Any thought, philosophy, or science that disagrees with scripture is a lie.
Here are a few popular lies that we hear today:
-The world took billions of years to create/form.
The Bible says God created the world in 7 days (Genesis 1). If God didn’t create the world in seven literal days then death entered the world before sin. That changes everything.
-Listen to your heart.
The Bible says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Listening (and obeying) our hearts is the cause of a lot of heartache in this world.
–Live your best life now!
Really? That is not what I read in the Bible (John 16:33, I Peter 1:6-7). II Timothy says it best: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” It can’t be any more clear than that. I wonder what a Christian facing great persecution would have to say about living his best life now?
–Make your dreams come true at all costs.
Make your dreams come true. Your dreams. There is the problem. When we turn to God, we give up our dreams. When we choose to follow Jesus, we also choose to deny ourselves (Mark 8:34). This is not a popular philosophy today, is it? DENYING ourselves and laying our dreams at the foot of the cross, living to glorify our heavenly Father instead of ourselves. Even as I write that sentence, I almost cringe knowing that even most fellow Christians do not ascribe to this “sold out” Christianity.
When we received the discouraging results of the personality test, I admit I did really have to struggle through that, worrying about that “nugget” of man’s wisdom for a day or two. But I knew that my fiance loved me. And I knew that I loved him. And, most importantly, I knew that we both loved God and were headed the same direction in our goals for our faith, family, and finances. What more could you ask than that?
And so, I am glad I chose not to believe that particular lie. It is almost daunting to think of the life I would have missed, had I backed away in fear! Not everything we hear is true or has merit.
How important it is that we put everything through the grid of the Bible. Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour and, while the test we took as a young engaged couple didn’t really fly in the face of scripture, there are many things we are told today that do. Let’s pay attention so that we are not deceived.