Twisted Scripture: 4 Things That Aren’t Really in the Bible

5 Mins read

2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

According to Paul’s second letter to Timothy, his protégé, one of the most important parts of being approved by God is knowing how to “correctly handle the Word of Truth.” In New Testament times, the Bible was made up of most of the Old Testament Scriptures that we still have access to today. However, since the New Testament was still in the process of being written, they didn’t have all the Scriptures that we have today.

The importance of “correctly handling the Word of Truth” has not changed with the addition of the New Testament. In fact, it could easily be argued that it’s even more important for us to handle Scripture correctly now. We live in dark times, and we are residents of a world that is lost and wandering. When we know how to correctly handle the Word of God, we can effectively share the truth with others.

Over the years, a lot of statements have been provided as Scriptural quotes when they are either misrepresentations of what the Bible really says, or they simply aren’t in the Bible at all. Today, take a look at these four twisted “Scriptures.” You will likely find that some of the things that you’ve heard are in the Bible are not.

“Follow Your Heart”
Jeremiah 17:9-10 (ESV)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

While telling someone to follow their heart may seem like you’re encouraging them to tryst their own instincts, the statement is not in the Bible. Instead, the Bible says the exact opposite. When Scripture references “the heart,” it is talking about the very core of who we are. Unfortunately, as humans, we have a natural tendency to choose the wrong things in life. This started with Adam and Eve when they ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, and it has continued throughout history. In Romans 7:15, Paul said that he did the things he didn’t want to do and failed to the things that he wanted to do. We have a natural inclination to do wrong.

When you consider our natural, sinful state, it’s easy to see that God does not want us to follow our hearts. Instead, He wants us to follow Him. While your instinct may be right in certain cases, this isn’t the product of your own heart knowing what is best. Instead, this is the power of the Holy Spirit and the gift of discernment working in you. Don’t follow your heart, follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

“God Wants Me to Be Happy”
1 Peter 1:14-16 (ESV)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Does the Bible say that God wants His people to be happy? No, it doesn’t. Now, this doesn’t mean that God wants His people to be miserable, but it’s important to understand that happiness, at least in these fleshly bodies, is not God’s primary goal for His people.

In order to illustrate the contrast between our lives in Christ and the way we lived before we knew Him, Peter spoke about the passions of our former ignorance. As we’ve already established, we all have a naturally sinful inclination. That means that the things that make us happy, at least in the flesh, do not please God.

In Hebrews 11:25-26, we learn that there is pleasure in sinful behaviors, but that pleasure is short lived. However, it’s important that we understand our temporary happiness is not God’s primary goal. Instead, God wants His people to be holy. This is because He knows that living holy will lead to eternal life with Him, which is the ultimate happiness.

“Money is the Root of All Evil”
1 Timothy 6:10 (ESV)
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Unlike some of the other twisted Scriptures that we’ve discussed today, this one is actually based on something that is written in the Bible. Unfortunately, people have adjusted the words that are actually written in this verse over the years leading to a complete change in the verses meaning.

If you believe that money itself is the root of all evil, you will be in a constant state of conflict about how you’re supposed to manage something that everyone needs. We have to have money to pay bills, buy food, and do virtually everything else that we do in life. If money is the root of all evil, does that mean it’s sinful for us to make money? This is why it is so important for us to truly understand what the Bible says.

Paul didn’t write an indictment against making or having money. Instead, he wrote that we should not become obsessed with making money. People who are overcome by the love of money will do anything to make more money and keep the money they have, including lying, cheating, and stealing. Money isn’t evil, but being obsessed with making money can lead to sinful behaviors.

“God Won’t Put More on You Than You Can Handle”
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Finally, many well-meaning Christians encourage others by telling them that God will not “put more on them than they can bear.” This is an example of twisting Scripture on multiple fronts. First of all, this verse does not speak about adversity. Instead, it speaks about temptation. When you realize that, you can find the second issue with this verse, as God does not tempt us. In James 1:13, we read that God cannot be tempted with evil, and He does not tempt any person with evil.

Does that mean that God will “put more on us than we can bear?” Yes and no. God does not afflict us, however He does allow us to go through times of testing much like He did with Job. And yes, there are times where what we’re facing goes beyond what we are capable of handling. However, we are not left alone in those moments. It is then that we can truly experience the strength of God.

If you’re facing something that is more than you can handle, let God handle it for you.

A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth and the power found in Your Word. Help me to better understand Scripture, not only so I can grow in You, but so I can effectively help others. Open my eyes to the truth of Scripture so I can encourage others with the truth of Your Word. I know that You have the answers for all of my problems in the Bible, and I long to understand them. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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