Anymore when someone comes at me with a quote, statement etc about what I, you, we "should" do or be doing, I am often heard saying, where in the Word of God does it say that. It is interesting to me that for a people who loathe lies and fact checking, believers in the Lord Jesus are quick to chastise themselves with things that are thought to be scripture but are simply quotes from dead people. Nothing more. No life and hope in any of it.
Here's one that is fascinatingly hilarious;
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime.
More than hilarious, it's damaging to a believer in the Lord. While that may seem like an overstatement, it's truth. You see number one, this is not biblical. It's not even a biblical principle like the word trinity. It is in fact quite the opposite. Not only that, it's a quote from Buddha. What we have here is a quote, disguised as a scriptural reference that is nothing more than man's way of trying to gain good things for himself.
Here's another one that is straight up heresy;
"God helps those who help themselves"
Now what is funny about this quote is nearly everyone knows it's not in the Word of God, and most attribute it to Ben Franklin. Frightening how free we feel when using God's name to further our own ideals and mindsets. Folks might think twice about that given the whole "don't take the Lord's name in vain" commandment. This catchy yet heretical statement likely originated from Algernon Sydney in 1698 in an article titled Discourses Concerning Government, not dear old Benny. The Word of God teaches the opposite. God helps the helpless! Isaiah 25:4 declares, "For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat..." Romans 5:6 tells us, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."
It's one thing to encourage a friend, child, spouse etc to work hard in their calling. It's quite another to reprove someone in a way that says God will only help you if you make the first of several moves. A favored passage of mine is found in Romans 8:32, "He who did not spare His own Son, but freely gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"
That phrase 'all things' in Greek means all the things.
When we are encouraging one another and giving godly counsel, we must be extraordinarily cautious that we are not quoting something in the bible that is not even there. It reminds me of social media posts and folks busting one another's chops over something the writer never even said. Assumptions are damaging, embarrassing and cause more harm than good.
In the case of quoting the Word of God to someone, understand the motive behind such lies. You see, we live in a world, no, a culture in the United States that is very much into self. Do it by yourself, make something of yourself, crush your goals- yourself.
That is absolutely fantastic for those who do not know our Savior, after all, what help are they going to get? The universe? Hardly! The universe doesn't know to care a lick about a human, let alone have the power to cause anything good or bad to come into their lives.
But for you, dear Christian. The Word of God says in Deuteronomy 8:18 "No, you are to remember Adonai your God, because it is He who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today."
First of all, can we all finally agree that the Lord wants, desires and has plans to give His children the power to gain wealth? It's cool if we stop arguing about money in the Church yes? And second, did you catch it? It is HE who gives you the power to get wealth. Before verse 18 the Lord says "you will think to yourself, ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth." You see, the Lord knows His kids, He knows we are credit takers even though we are powerless on our own. He wanted His children to remember it was Him, it's always Him and His doing. Never us. We have choices to step into His heart and call on our lives, but that is about as much of our doing as it gets. It's funny, when people tell me they are nervous to give a talk on something the Lord has told them to speak on I say "well you should be if it's you doing the talking." But it's not only in times of speaking, giving an event, writing or hosting a video conference. Even in the day to day living we must realize it is Him who gives us the power to gain anything good. What good you did today was not you, friend. Not one bit of it. How can it be when the Word says every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights in whom there is no shifting shadow?
The moral of the story is this- stop spreading lies about what God has for you and your friends in life. Why? Besides the fact that they are in fact lies, but because they keep you in bondage and prevent you from fully walking in the path and plan He has called you to. You see, you and I are called to be kingdom reps on the earth until He comes again or until we go Home. We are called to occupy, to do business on the earth until He gets us. But we cannot do that if we are under the assumption that we are to do it all on our own. we'll never reach Him and the full potential of what He has for us if we are quoting unbelievers who's desire was to keep man in bondage of works and striving their way to heaven.
The gift of God is totally free. It's completely outside the ways of man- in every single way you can imagine. But you must know what His word says about the thing you're thinking about. You must understand His heart, His ways of moving on the earth. Because when you do, those lies you've heard along the way will sound like utter rubbish in your ears and nearly laughable. And when that happens, oh the doors that will open for you that will propel you into His goodness.