Updated: Nov 11, 2020
It is that famous, brilliant church father Augustine who famously said, “All truth is God’s truth.”
And at face value, I believe that statement is still true. However…
The big however, is this; I’ve heard pastors, Christian speakers and authors utter or write all kinds of things that are not true, but present them as if they were. Statements made at leadership conferences like,
“If everyone believes in your vision, it’s not big enough!”
“Fear has no place in your success equation!”
“You have to believe in you, for anyone close to believe in your vision.”
“You cannot out-give God!”
Those are actual quotes from successful Christian leaders. I don’t doubt their passion and their commitment to Christ, but none of those quotes sound even remotely like something Jesus would ever say.
Are they lying? Not necessarily. I’m guessing these motivational speakers are speaking from experience. Here’s the problem; Self confidence, “dare to be great” bluster and just plain “bull,” works at least in the short run and often enough that it may accomplish its purpose, and therefore we accept it as truth. I know. I used them all. And I sinned when I did.
To the point: Is self-confidence the will of God? Is simply having a big vision, the will of God? Is the idea that God wants to prosper you financially the will of God?
Test everything by Scripture The only test I know, is going to scripture to test whether something I hear, and I’d like to believe, is really true. Don’t be deceived by one or even two verses that may confirm some truth. Step back and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment. “Does this sound like the God of the Bible?” “Does this sound like the kind of idea Jesus would ever say or endorse?”
My second word of advice; Seek out the advice of a Christian you most trust. Tell them what you’ve heard or think you may believe about success slogans or programs. Ask them for a “second opinion.”
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Yes, all truth is God’s truth, but life is a minefield of lies, truths and half-truths. And if they promise us something our heart really wants, we are even more apt to believe them. There is only one true map to the life God blesses – Scripture.
“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.” Proverbs 1:1-4
How following Jesus works in real life.
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