I need to talk to you about something. The Spirit, He’s a-proddin’, and I can’t seem to type fast enough to get my thoughts poured out. A couple friends of mine shared an article on Facebook from Relevant Magazine entitled 7 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe. It outlines a few of the fairy tales we’ve constructed because we like to believe in happily ever after.
I’d like to add a couple “truths” as well.
1) God put me in this place because He needs me to do His work.
Sentiments like this are prolific throughout Christian culture, using Esther 4:14 as evidence. The verse is often quoted: “You have come (or, have been called) to this place for such a time as this.” Here’s the thing, dear ones – THAT’S NOT WHAT IT SAYS. Try again:
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 ESV)
Mordecai is trying to convince his cousin to risk her life to prevent genocide. But Mordecai does not assume that Esther is, coincidentally, the only person on Earth who can prevent the horrific extermination of a people group. He tells her that God doesn’t need her, that help will arise from somewhere else if she is unwilling to stand. He basically tells her that she has an opportunity to be part of God’s plan, or she doesn’t have to, but the plan remains unaffected.
What hubris to assume God needs us for anything. He does us a favor by allowing us to take part in His work, not the other way around.
2) God will send you your husband when you least expect it/when you stop asking/when you are committed to Him/when you are [lame qualifier].
How many times have your married friends (who somehow assume they are the authority on marriage now) told you that, in so many words, that God is withholding your spouse from you until you complete some kind of checklist? HOW MANY TIMES? Married people, I
know assume you mean well, but do you know what you’re doing? You are nurturing an entire culture of single Christians who believe that they can’t find “the one” because there is something wrong with them, despite seeing unsaved (and vastly less qualified) people fill up their news feed with wedding and baby photos. So we start to wonder, what kind of God would provide a mate for those people, and ignore my silent (and not so silent) pleas? It just seems cruel.
Then you look at us and remind us about Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Cool, I can totally buy that. You know what I don’t see?
“If, and only if, you delight yourself in the Lord in the manner approved by your married (and infinitely wise) fellow Christians, then He will give you every single desire of your heart, but only if you don’t want them anymore, because God doesn’t give you things until you stop wanting them.” (The Gospel of Syllogism 17:8)
As John Green has reminded us, “The world is not a wish-granting factory,” and neither is the God I serve.