As a new Christian, I had many notions that I have realized throughout the years were either completely false or utterly ridiculous. Below are just a few of the major misconceptions that caused a bit of a struggle for me at one time or another.
1. Life (in general) will get easier.
Wow! I was totally mistaken regarding this one!!! In many ways, life goes on as usual. Life may not get easier. It probably won’t. The good news is that as Christians we have the Holy Spirit, our comforter and teacher, living inside us. There is a lot more to being a Christian than smelling flowers and marveling at rainbows. In fact, God gave us tons of wisdom regarding how to handle life’s troubles. Below are just two verses that illustrate this point.
“…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
2. Romantic relationships between Christians are healthier.
My husband and I were living proof that just the opposite is true for years. Becoming a child of God does not mean that all of our human junk all of a sudden disappears! Maybe we don’t have to suffer eternally due to our sin, but that doesn’t mean that on Earth things will be immediately effortless. In many cases, Christian couples may have to work harder to sustain a marriage. Our marriages are great testimonies to the glory of God, and of course, the enemy would like us to mess that up. Here is proof that Christian relationships are difficult too. Please be encouraged, though, because it is written that “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
3. I will not struggle as much with sin.
In some cases this may be true. Sometimes it may take a while to realize that something you are doing is actually sinful. Other times, you will know what you are doing is wrong and expect God to deliver you all the while knowingly putting yourself in temptation’s way. Just because Jesus paid the price for every sin we will ever commit does not give us carte blanche. There are a myriad of verses in the Bible regarding our sin nature and the dangers of temptation. These gems of instruction would not be there if God didn’t know that we would still struggle after becoming believers. Below are just a few of my favorites:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
4. I will be more mentally and emotionally balanced.
As we discussed in point #1, life is not always easy, and quite honestly, it can be burdensome at times in regards to our health, finances, relationships, etc. You and I would be remiss to think that Christian or not, we will sail swimmingly through life in mentally and emotionally balanced bliss 100% of the time. When I am feeling anxious, depressed, worried, etc. reading the Bible or meditating on God’s Word is helpful. There is most likely something in the Bible regarding my struggle, and this reminds me that God knows me inside and out and has provided wisdom to help me navigate this life. The books of Proverbs and Psalms have a wealth of instruction that have helped me to work through problems in a healthier way by exposing and confronting the root issue/s at hand. Since “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” it’s a good idea to depend on God’s Word daily to stay uplifted and encouraged (Proverbs 17:22).
5. All preachers/pastors teach sound, biblical doctrine.
This one can be tricky. I once believed that when someone talked about God in conversation or even during a sermon that she/he was unequivocally referencing the God of the Bible. Entirely NOT the case. There are a ton of self-help and motivational speakers out there masquerading as legitimate teachers of God’s Word. You may be surprised, but God sure isn’t. In fact, 1 John 4:1 admonishes us to “…not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Compare what you are hearing or reading to the perfect Word of God always. Below are some more verses referencing the very real threat of a false teacher:
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed this article. I may reprise it within the next few months with more misconceptions.