I believed some crazy things as a child. I believed my mom when she said, “Keep crossing your eyes and they’ll stay that way.” I believed my sister when she said, “You swallow watermelon seeds, you’ll grow watermelons out your ears.” I believed my brother when he said snakes would slither up the pipes. Believed him so much I kept a close eye on the drain whenever I took a shower. I believed my teacher lived at school and my grandpa lived at the airport. I believed dogs were male and cats were female. And when a friend told me that thunder was God moving His furniture, I believed him entirely.
Even as an adult, I believed some wild things about God. Here are three myths I believed.
God wants me miserable
I grew up around religious people who sang, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” Then they chanted, “Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart.” It was buried so deeply they couldn’t find it. I thought that if I took this Christian thing seriously, I would end up just as grumpy as they were. I thought God would make me marry a weepy girl with horned rimmed glasses and he would send us to Borneo where cannibals would notice how skinny I was and fatten me up then finish me off. It took years to discover that God didn’t want me miserable. Quite the opposite! He is not the enemy of our joy; He’s the fulfillment of it.
God is watching us from a distance
It makes a nice Bette Midler tune, but God isn’t a distant figure on a throne way up there. “Where can I flee from Your presence?” King David asks. “If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.” Every other religion tells us how to find God. Christianity tells us that God came to find us.
The Bible is a rulebook
Yes, it contains rules. But they are for our joy, not our misery. The Bible is about relationship. It’s about Jesus and His great love for us. It’s the story of how God gets His kids back. As you read it, pray that you’ll encounter Jesus. God loves to answer that prayer.
The theologian A.W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So ask yourself two questions: 1) What lies have I believed about God? And 2) What does the Bible show me about Him? Then go looking. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself believing all sorts of crazy things. Like the man who said, “When I was little I believed God was an artist named Howard.” That’s why he prayed: “Our Father, who does art in heaven, Howard be Thy name.”
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