Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Eric and Leslie (6)

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.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Believe Everything You Hear”

  1. I agree with your blog post. I confess that I do have a, hmmm, I don’t know the best word, concern with your point on Listening to your Heart. I totally agree that the world focuses way too much on this. It is a theme that we hear in practically every Disney movie.
    The problem that I have is that we use this verse as a blanket reason to ignore the desires that we have in our hearts and not listen to what they have to say. Even in the church. This verse is referring to the unregenerate heart. The heart that God has not transformed from stone to flesh. As God followers, He has transformed our heart from stone – hard against God and against His desires for us and His love – to flesh – a heart that is sensitive to the things of God.
    Yes, I think we need to be very careful as we listen to our hearts that we are not deceived – because we can still fool ourselves into believing that the things we desire are from Him when they aren’t. But God also says in Psalm 37:4 that if we take delight in the Lord, He will give us the desire of our heart – not that he will give us whatever we want. But as we delight in Him and seek him, He will put the Godly desires into our hearts that we should listen to and follow.
    Yet, if we continue to believe that we can’t listen to anything our heart says because it will only lead us astray, then we will lose out on a depth in our walk that we will only have as we delight in God, become in tune with the desires that He has put in our hearts, and then we seek to pursue those dreams and desires that are from Him.
    In many ways, this belief that our heart will only lead us to evil stunts us in our walk with God in many ways. It is SO important to walk closely with Him – listening closely, waiting on Him, learning to know his heart. We do this through reading Scripture but we also do this through our time with him alone – through seeing how he works in our world and our family and our job and listening to hear what he speaks to our heart as we walk through this life.
    Maybe it’s because I have lived so much of my adult life overseas and away from the cultural American Christian church that I see things differently. But it saddens me deeply when I hear of people quoting verses that cause a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to reject or greatly limit the life that God calls us to. We react in fear and limit God’s work and Spirit’s influence in our lives.
    I have many extended family members who live out of fear or rigidity – trying to follow the rules so that God accepts them and they can be seen as ‘good Christians’. Yet fear does not produce the life that God desires in his people. Perfect love casts out fear. Yes, our walk with God begins with fear – Proverbs says that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. But if all we do all our lives is live in this continual relationship with God of fear, then our relationship with Him and our walk is not being perfected in love. We stay baby Christians always trying to please God and avoid punishment. God desires us to move from the relationship of slaves to not just Children but Friends. And are we afraid of our friends? I hope not. As we grow in His grace and His love, our fear decreases and our trust grows. And this is the relationship that God desires – a relationship of intimacy and trust. A relationship that seeks to know, understand and follow the desires that Father has put in our hearts.
    Hugs!

    1. The really dangerous thing I see playing out over and over (at least here in the U.S.) is the reliance on our “hearts” (or experiences) over and ABOVE scripture. Sentences such as “God told me to get divorced” or “God has made me this way, therefore it can’t be wrong” are often heard as excuses to fulfill our sinful desires. We end up relying on some “spiritual” experience that we put above what scripture tells us, forgetting that there is a great spiritual battle waging and Satan appears often as light. I am quite fearful for the modern day church that seems to rely on their experiences to measure their relationship with God, rather than studying God’s Word to know Him.

      That being said, I do agree with your premise– God does give us a new heart, and as we grow closer to Him, our desires change naturally. But this never negates the value of running everything through scripture. We are sinners, after all, so our hearts will never be in a state of perfection while we are on this earth. I find myself humbled often by my evil heart. Paul probably says it best in Romans 7–

      For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

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