With the mark of Halloween I find it necessary to bring about a look at myths. There are many myths surrounding this day of ghosts, mummies, vampires, goblins… the list goes on. But, Halloween is not the only place where myths arise. Many of us, in the church, are guilty of continuing the problem of myths. I’m not talking about the things that are in the Word but the things that aren’t but are believed to be Scripturally accurate.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as “a widely held but false belief or idea” and that perfectly describes how many Christians pass on sayings that are believed to be true but hold no truth in the Bible.
If you’ve heard the saying cleanliness is next to godliness or God helps those who help themselves or the countless others then this post is for you! While Scripture supports the purposes of some of the sayings while contradicting others. Some of the most familiar Christian sayings turn out not to be Christian at all, but a myth. Let’s correct these myths today by bringing light in truth to this darkened myth filled world.
The list of sayings not found in scripture below may blow some minds while proving obvious for others.
1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
While the biblical parallel to this saying is “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12) the saying does not appear in its common form in any of the more literal translations of Scripture although its sentiments is certainly biblical.
2. God helps those who help themselves
The Bible teaches something entirely different than the above saying, because God makes special provision to help the helpless.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly… But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered.
Thus says the LORD,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the LORD.”
3. Money is the root of all evil
The expressions stems from the biblical phrase that says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). There is a big difference between the two statements. Money is a neutral, it doesn’t have the power in itself to be good or bad but it is the way money is viewed. Money, therefore, is not evil but the love of it is the root of all kinds of evil.
4. Cleanliness is next to godliness
This is the favourite of almost ALL Mothers. I heard it just yesterday and because of the knowledge I’ve gained from the Word I’m aware of the error in this saying and that it is but a myth. While the book of Leviticus frequently deals with the issue of cleanliness it mentions it in relation to the cleaning of the believer’s life… not room.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
5. This too shall pass
Trials and difficult circumstances are difficult to bear and one comfort this saying developed as a way of helping others deal with the many problems of life. The question to ask is how biblical this comfort is and brings us to the need to remember from Romans 5 that the believer that suffers produces hope for the kingdom of God; if we simply take heart in the temporary end of a given earthly trial, we are finding comfort in the wrong thing.
6. The eye is the window to the soul
I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve heard this one growing up in the church. The Bible does not speak of the eye being a window to the soul, but it does represent the lamp of the body.
The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.
The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
7. God works in mysterious ways
I laugh simply remembering those who have fallen into the trap of there being Biblical truth to this saying and refusing to believe the inaccuracy of such a saying. God lets us know explicitly in his Word the plans he has for his children. Though we may not understand the purpose of our circumstances in God’s plan, we are assured that every detail will work for the benefit of the Redeemed – I’d say that’s pretty clear. The only mystery of our God is in his return, which Jesus himself never claim to know.
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
8. Pride comes before the fall
This saying seems to be missing a crucial part. The original rendition states that prides ends in destruction, not a fall.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
9. God don’t like ugly
This has to be the most outrageous yet common one. While some may want to suggest that this saying is used to sum up ungodly behaviour, they are wrong. The saying, as profound as it may be, is not found in Scripture.
10. Blessed and highly favoured
How many of you have heard this saying when asking someone how they are? While some may find it to be a Biblical saying brought forth by Paul he never wrote to the churches in Corinth to be “blessed and highly favoured.”As good as the saying may sound, it is not in the Bible.