New Christians quite often have misconceptions about God, the Christian life and other believers. This look at the common misconceptions of Christianity is designed to dispel some of the myths that typically hinder new Christians from growing and maturing in the faith.
1 - Once you become a Christian, God will solve all of your problems.
Many new Christians are shocked when the first trial or serious crisis hits. Here's a reality check -- get prepared -- the Christian life is not always easy! You will still face ups and downs, challenges and joys. You will have problems and troubles to overcome. This verse offers encouragement for Christians facing difficult situations:
- 1 Peter 4:12-13
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (NIV)
2 - Becoming a Christian means giving up all fun and following a life of rules.
A joyless existence of mere rule-following is not true Christianity and the abundant life God intends for you. Rather, this describes a man-made experience of legalism. God has amazing adventures planned for you. These verses give a description of what it means to experience God's life:
- Romans 14:16-18
Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is all right. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too. (NLT)
- 1 Corinthians 2:9
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" — (NIV)
3 - All Christians are loving, perfect people.
Well, it doesn't take very long to discover that this is not true. But being prepared to meet the imperfections and failures of your new family in Christ can spare you future pain and disillusionment. Although Christians strive to be like Christ, we will never obtain complete sanctification until we stand before the Lord. In fact, God uses our imperfections to "grow us" in the faith. If not, there would be no need to forgive one another.
As we learn to live in harmony with our new family, we rub each other like sandpaper. It's painful at times, but the result brings about a smoothing and softening to our rough edges.
- Colossians 3:13
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)
- Philippians 3:12-13
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead ... (NIV)