Before we get into the meat of this chapter I want to say that before we start quoting anything it is good to go and make sure we are quoting it correctly. How upset would you be if someone put words in your mouth, even if those words might be good. One of my favorite memes on the internet is the one that says, "you can not trust everything you see on the internet"- Abraham Lincoln. Now I know this is very funny but it highlights what I am saying perfectly. I do not plan to tackle all the things said by people that are not in the Bible, that would take to long, just three that I think are interesting. I will not be dealing with stuff like the misuses of scripture in the prosperity gospel, I plan to talk about that in a chapter all by itself later.
So back to "this too shall pass". Now as much as this sounds like it may very well be in the Bible; it is not. This quote, like many others, can be found in a round about way. What I mean by this is even though it may not say those words exactly there is some scriptural things that can mean basically the same thing. Okay so first where did the saying come from? This saying is believed to come from an old Persian poem. This story, Attar of Nishapur, records one fable of a powerful king who asks assembled wise men to create a ring that will make him happy when he is sad, and vice versa. After debating, the sages hand him a simple ring with the words “This too will pass” etched on it, which has the desired effect. So how about what the Bible says? Well we know that the Bible says, "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:34) Also the Bible says, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4: 17-18). This is one of the quotes I do not personally mind so much but do not like people saying that it is plainly in the Bible when it is not.
Next one is "God will not put on you more than you can handle". I will admit that I may have said this one in my youth, when I did not know the Bible as well, but none the less it is not in the Bible. This quote, like the last one, is one of those quotes meant to help people in hard times. I am not against using the Bible, properly of course, to help people when times are tough but we first must make sure we are quoting the Bible and second not give people false hope. This quote does not have a cool back story like the other one it is simply a misquote form the Bible. The verse that people are using is 1 Corinthians 10:13 and it is actually referring to dealing with temptation, not problems in life. The verse says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” I will say that I can sorta see, if I tilt my head a bit and squint real hard, how this scripture can be used improperly. My main point is when using the Bible make sure you use verses in context and do not try to twist them so you can simply ease someone's troubled mind.
Now on to one of my favorite ones. "Love the sinner, not the sin." I will once again admit that I have said this, A LOT and not more than a year ago, but this quote is not in the Bible either. This one, unlike the others, I have heard people even give credit to Jesus. Not only is this one not in the Bible it is definitely no where in red letters. This quote sounds so good that it is easy for almost any believer to think that it comes straight out of the Bible but it actually comes from St. Augustine’s letters, which contains the phrase “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum,” translated to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” Now an argument can be made that in a round about way the Bible actually says this. Things like, "love your neighbor as yourself", and "God does not delight in wickedness" are just two scriptures that we could use to make such an argument. The best scripture that could be used is Romans 12:9 "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." I am not saying that we should not love people and hate sin but what I am saying is before saying that the Bible says that directly we should make sure it does.
The whole reason I started this blog was to bring to light things that we as followers of Christ do to make God look bad. I have spent the last four months going through many things that either has been done or is currently happening that does exactly that. I have talked on many different things in a wide variety of subjects and plan to continue. The reason I am saying all of this is because I hold very dear the Bible and the things said in it. Many others and myself have talked about subject from the Bible that we can do better at but the thing that bothers me the most is the simple fact that the "average Christian" just does not study let alone even read the Bible. I have heard the Bible referred to as "the handbook for life" but it is so much more than that. The Bible is the very life blood of our life. The Bible contains the very Gospel that saves us. It contains the truth about life, death, and everything in between. We can not just simple treat it like a book with good ideas or great proverbs for life. The Bible is more than just powerful words it is the power in word form. This is the reason that when we, as believers, misquote or even say that the Bible says something it does not I get very upset. The Bible should be treated with great respect and never just used flippantly. Worshiping God, learning about God, and understanding God can all be found in that book. So as believers we must get back to not just reading it but, instead, studying it. We must stop hearing things and going along with them. Instead, we should study what we hear so that we will not fall in to the trap of repeating something that may not be true.
I normally end with a series of questions that would go something like this: What quotes have you heard that you think are in the Bible? or When is the last time you really studied the Bible? Both good questions but instead I will ask just one question. Do you treat the Bible with the importance it deserves? In your reading, when you hear it talked about, and in your life.