Western culture has taught us a lot of things. Unfortunately, a lot of these things are wrong, and we don’t even realize it.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” (Romans 12:2a).
Jesus did not call us to be like the world. He called us to be like him. To be different.
Society—and ultimately Satan—has filled our head with lies. He has crept in through television, social media, even through the words of acclaimed pastors and preachers.
If you don’t know someone is lying to you, you can’t disbelieve the lie. You can’t fight back against an enemy you don’t believe exists. So, let’s take a look at just three of the things that society has taught us and see just why they are lies.
1. Follow Your Heart
Have you ever watched a Disney movie? If you haven’t, I’m sorry, because I think they’re usually pretty amazing. But have you ever thought about the message? Usually it’s something along the lines of following your heart or being true to yourself. But is this the message of the Bible? For goodness sake, no!
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” If our hearts are in fact deceitful, then we probably shouldn’t be following them.
Or take David, for example, when he calls out to God for a pure heart. If his heart is already pure (and therefore worthy of being followed) why would he being calling out to God for a pure heart? Plus, David is known as a “man after God’s own heart.” So if David had an impure heart, how much more do we have impure hearts?
Don’t follow your heart. Follow God.
2. Follow Your Dreams
This is kind of similar to following your heart. Often our dreams simply do not align with God’s will. They just don’t mix. Maybe you have some pretty awesome dreams, but even if they’re dreams where you plan to accomplish incredible things for the kingdom of God, it doesn’t mean you should always follow them. At times, dreams are good, but sometimes the opposite is true.
I’m not going to lie, giving up on your dreams is hard. It hurts, and it hurts a lot. God has called me away from one of my biggest dreams, my greatest passions, something that I love to do. And, you know what, it didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. But to us, God rarely does. How can we, mere human beings, expect to understand God? We can never get to that level. The only way we’re going to understand what God is doing is if he makes us understand, and he doesn’t always do that. This is where faith comes in.
Even if you have to give up on your dreams, don’t lose heart. Believe me, God’s plans are way better than any of ours.
3. People Need to Earn Your Respect
People most certainly do not need to earn your respect. People deserve your respect. It doesn’t matter who they are.
If they’re your teachers, just take a look at Romans 13. If it’s your peers, just think about how God created people in his image (Genesis 1:27). You should definitely not be disrespecting the image of God, a creation of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Sure, their beliefs may clash with yours, but this is not asking you to be okay with what they do or their ideologies. It’s telling you to respect them. 1 Peter 3:15 says that we need to be ready to give an answer in case someone asks why we have hope, but it also adds to do so with gentleness and respect.
As 2 Corinthians 5:16 admonishes us, don’t look at people the way everyone else does. Look at them differently. Your respect does not need to be earned.
These listed items are obviously just the beginning of a much longer list of lies society has told us. Giving up on the ideas of following your heart and dreams truly tests your relationship with Christ, how real it is, and how much you love him. Laying down the concept of people having to earn your respect better enables you to love people well. All of this will help you follow the two greatest commandments: loving God and loving others (Matthew 36-39).
So, compare everything you hear with the word of God, even the things that don’t seem to need comparing. Be like the Bereans mentioned in Acts 17 and search the Scriptures to find out the real truth, not the “truth” presented to us by society.
Satan is the father of lies. Don’t believe him.