In many ways, this is a light-hearted blog. It's a compilation of things I've been noticing over the past few months as I've spent time in the Word, as well as something I've thought about for a long time in terms of cultural misconceptions about the Bible. It's amazing to me how many biblical principles have become mainstream phrases or ways of thought (albeit often taken out of context). If anything, I hope it's a good conversation starter for you if you hear these phrases, or that this information helps you to look at these phrases in a different light.
First, phrases that I'll bet you didn't know originated in the Bible:"The blind leading the blind"- Luke "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?"
I might be alone in this, but I had no idea that phrase came from the Bible. Here Jesus was teaching multitudes of people who had come to receive healing and to learn from him. He is cautioning against judging others while ignoring your own faults. This is the same parable that goes on to talk about trying to take a speck out of your brother's eye, while ignoring the log in your own.
"Practice what you preach" - Matthew 23:1-4 "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you- but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger."
While Jesus walked the earth he spoke some very harsh words, not to people caught in sin or rejected by the community, but often to church leaders and the religious elite of that day. The religious leaders were adding all kinds of additional requirements on people, claiming that they needed to do a myriad of additional things in order to be saved (not unlike many churches today). Jesus instructs the people here to follow what the church leaders said in terms of their teaching of the Old Testament, but to do away with all of the additional bologna that they claimed was needed to be accepted by God.
"What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:6)
I really think here I'm revealing my ignorance. I had no idea that this familiar line from weddings actually came from the Bible.
"A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating." Proverbs 18:6. I just think this is funny!
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (AKA the "Golden Rule"). Spoke by Jesus himself and still permitted to hang in public classrooms everywhere. It's just that good.
Phrases that you may think are in the Bible, but they are not:"God will never give you more than you can handle."
This is a comforting thought, but I'll give you $50 if you can show me where God promises that. He actually often gives us more than we can handle, because that causes us to rely on Him and see our need for Him. He does promise never to leave us or forsake us, He promises to comfort us, to lead us, and to sustain us through difficulty. He is good like that.
"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."
I sadly saw this quoted in someone's eulogy....It was a quote where she said she believed in this "biblical principal." This is a truism...but I'm not sure where it came from. Aesop? Anyway, it's not in the Bible. Although there are a lot of fishermen in the Bible.
"God helps those who help themselves."
I don't know where this came from. Maybe an attempt at "Christianizing" the cultural idea of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps? It is certainly not in the Bible. The God who we see over and over again in the Old and New Testament is a God who helps people who are utterly helpless. He chooses the small, meaningless tribe of Israel to be his chosen people. He choses Moses, a man who did not have great public speaking skills, to announce His orders to the most powerful ruler in the world, and then to communicate the 10 Commandments to God's people. He chooses Gideon, a terrified soldier, to defeat some of God's enemies. He does it in such a way that it could only have been God (I love that story...Judges 6-8). He chooses Mary, an unassuming, poor, teenager to carry and raise the Son of God. Over and over again, He rescues and saves people who make the same foolish mistakes over and over again...not because they have anything worthwhile in and of themselves, but because He is good.
Thanks for reading my very scattered thoughts! I hope that the information presented in this blog encourages you to dig into your Bible and consider it's teachings for yourself!
By His Grace.