Morning by Morning was one of the first ministries to publish my writing. They’re no longer an active site, so I’m excited to share some of my pieces here in my own space.
In this internet age, everyone has access at their fingertips to share a quote and claim it as truth. These phrases are often deemed “Christian,” and we succumb to believing them as truth because they sound lovely and are usually written in a beautiful font. Dear friends, we must beware. Not all quotes that come to us with their inspirational feelings and hand-lettered fonts are indeed Christian.
Lest we be led astray, we must take these sayings and hold them up against the Light of Truth. What is truth? Jesus is truth and his Word is truth (John 18:36-38, John 17:17). Let’s take a look at some of these popular phrases and put them against Scripture. Are they actually true?
You are enough.
This quote is often used to empower as we juggle motherhood, careers, and everything in between. On a particularly busy weekend, I wore several “hats” – mom, wife, hostess to a house of teenage girls, and small group leader. I tried to be “enough” for everyone, but honestly, it exhausted me. I thought of this well-intentioned phrase, and how we really aren’t enough.
One of the main points of the gospel is we aren’t enough. We’re dead in our sins (Eph 2:1), and our debt is so great we can never do or be enough to repay it (Rom 6:23). This is why we need a Savior, Jesus, who is enough. Jesus died on the cross so we could stop striving to measure up, and instead rest in his finished work. The world is the one telling us to be enough. Jesus never asked that from us. Instead, we’re to point to the only One who is enough, Christ himself. We’re human and have limitations; God is eternal and limitless (Col 1:17). In Christ, we’re worthy and clothed in his righteousness (Isa 61:10), but that’s only because of what he’s done; it’s nothing in and of ourselves. We’re weak and will never be enough for our children, spouses, friends, or co-workers. Instead of giving false hope, let’s use our limitations and weaknesses as opportunities to rely on and point to our limitless God, who is able to be enough for each of us.
Follow your heart.
This one is usually advice given in the struggle to make decisions. It does sound nice, but what does the Bible say about our hearts? Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond all cure, who can understand it?” Scripture also calls us “fools” for trusting in our own minds (Prov 28:26). Our hearts and emotions can lead us astray. We can get wrapped up in feelings and neglect what we know to be true. We can make rash decisions or even selfish ones.
Praise the Lord he doesn’t leave us with just our hearts for life and decision-making! Proverbs 3:5-6 commands us to trust in the Lord and acknowledge him and he will guide us. He’s given us his Word, which equips, teaches, and trains, so we may be equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). We’re also sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13), who calms our hearts when they’re anxious, corrects them when we want to live for ourselves, and convicts them when anger gets the best of us. No, dear friends, we cannot follow our hearts. We follow Christ who takes our hearts of stones and gives us hearts of flesh (Ezek 36:26). The heart of Christ is pure and holy. We get to know his heart through his Word and, as we pray, our hearts will become more like his
Do what makes you happy.
Our culture is all about living a “me-first” lifestyle. “I’m just livin’ for myself,” people will boast on social media. Christians, this mindset is contrary to what Scripture teaches! We were bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20), which is Christ’s death on the cross. Therefore, our life is no longer our own. Romans 12:1 commands us to present our bodies as living sacrifices to Christ. Every part of our being – our lifestyle, careers, finances – is to now be for the glory of God.
When we accept Christ, he makes us new creations (2 Cor 5:17). We’re to put to death our old ways, including pursuing a lifestyle focused on self. Instead, we pursue lives completely centered on Christ. Does this mean the Christian life is miserable and void of happiness? Definitely not! As Christians, we’re given something far greater and more eternal that the happiness this world offers. We have the joy of Christ present on the good days and the bad, and it’s far deeper and lasting than living for ourselves. We live for the greatest One, and a life doing what makes Christ happy is far more wonderful than we could ever ask or imagine.
Our world is fallen, and the teachings of Scripture are misinterpreted daily. We must take up our Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph 6:17), and use it to filter through each inspiring quote. Growing in discernment is part of our sanctification, and in John 17:17, Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in truth; your word is truth.” Our world is desperately searching for truth, but Jesus tells us to look no further than to him and his Word. As we grow in Christlikeness, he makes us more aware of things that are of him and things that aren’t. May our minds be watchful and prepared to take every thought captive to the truth of Scripture.