Through forty years of life, I have learned a lot of stuff. Some of the stuff I have learned was wrong and it took years to figure that out and in some cases, years to overcome.
Life is all about learning. “Live and learn” aint just a pithy phrase, it’s the way it is.
Here are the top ten lies I used to believe were true.
1) People are saved because they said The Prayer. Nope, sorry, don’t buy it. There is no verse in the Bible that even remotely comes close to saying that salvation comes by “saying the prayer.” Faith is a fight, it’s a race, it is no one-time event that you did and then move on. Continue in the faith. Those who continue in the faith are the only ones who are saved by faith. The just shall LIVE by faith.
2) The Cubs should be rooted for. I grew up with diseased people who coughed their Cub fandom germs on me. It took me many years to get better. The Cubs are an awful organization mired in stupid. Continuing to cheer for them does not show loyalty, it shows mental disorder.
3) You can’t mow the lawn on Sundays. Yes I can.
4) I don’t need anyone, I’m just fine by myself. People were always creepy to me. I isolated myself, stayed away from people and did my own thing. When I talked to people it was to rip them apart. Who needs em? I’ll be fine. Except I wasn’t. Plus I hate cooking.
5) I’m the only person in the world who truly understands the Bible. I actually remember the moment when this began to crack. My buddy Joe beat me at a game of Bible Trivia! Joe? Joe the Catholic? Beat me? I’m a pastor’s kid! HE beat ME? Yes, yes he did. Plus the D I got in Old Testament Survey. Plus the one time the WWII vet asked me if it was too late for him to get saved and my mouth said, “Yeah, probably.” That was a pretty low moment too. Oy.
6) Getting good grades is the key to your future. Oh wait, I never believed that.
6) People in church have everything together. The only way you would think someone has a perfect life is if you don’t know them. Most churches are filled with unknown people who either purposely want to be unknown to keep their outward perfection, or don’t want to be known because they know they aren’t perfect. Everyone needs to relax and help each other come to Christ.
7) You know you did well because someone told you you did well. I learned part of this when I played my trumpet. Whenever I totally blew my song I would get the most compliments! When my daughter began playing piano in public I told her the same thing, “Hey, don’t worry about messing up, you’ll get more compliments that way.” Try it some time. It’s true. And the compliments are all lies too incidentally.
The flip side of this one I am still learning–the desire to get a compliment. That I didn’t do a good job unless someone told me I did. Growing up as an insecure flop, I like a good compliment. When no one says anything about the sermon, was it any good?
The need for approval is in everyone, but growing up being rejected by many, turned on by a lot of people I thought were friends, made me especially susceptible to this one. I admit I’m still learning this one. Doing what I do before the Lord and letting it rest there. I’m trying, I’m trying.
8) You should sell your gold, it’s not going to go up. D’oh!
9) Girls are gross. Some of em are, but not nearly as many as gross boys. The female mind is a land of wonder. I continue to be amazed at the insights and perspectives I would never in a bazillion years come up with. There is one female in particular who continues to impress me with her ingenuity, supreme baking skills, great recipes, charm, wit, and business sense–I love you Martha Stewart.
10) Everyone I know is going to go to heaven. This has been a painful one to learn. Heaven isn’t populated based on who you know. You are not the fortunate one to be born smack dab in the middle of people who have it all right spiritually. Some people leave the faith. Some people play games with you. Some people bluster and intimidate so as not to be challenged. Heaven is reached by a narrow road, not the broad, crowded road. If everyone you know is going where you are going, you might want to change roads.