Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Things that are not true in Scripture!

James 1:19  So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.


The Truth about Misconceptions

I am convinced that the Bible always tells us the truth.  But sometimes it tells us the truth about misconceptions and lies.  When we read the book of Job, the truth was that Job was a righteous man.  God said so.  But Job had three so-called friends who seemed confused at times, but they were very confident that Job had to have sinned for God to allow him to lose everything but his life.  He had lost his family, his possessions and his health.  That just didn’t happen to a righteous man as far as Job’s three friends were concerned.  One went so far as to charge Job with sins that he must have committed even though Job had not committed these sins.  Eliphaz the Temanite says, “Is not your wickedness great, and your iniquity without end? For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, and stripped the naked of their clothing. You have not given the weary water to drink, And you have withheld bread from the hungry. But the mighty man possessed the land, and the honorable man dwelt in it. You have sent widows away empty, And the strength of the fatherless was crushed (Job 22:5-9).”  He obviously did not consider Job to be mighty or honorable.  And yet he was.


Lessons for Me

We know that lying is not right.  Our assurance of salvation depends on the the truth that God does not lie.  But often we lie because we don’t know the truth.  Sometimes we lie because of the way we have been raised or because we are repeating what someone we respect has said.  Job’s three friends were miserable comforters (Job’s words) but they thought they were trying to help him.  The unfortunate thing is that they simply didn’t know God and they didn’t know Job and they didn’t know what they were talking about.  How often do we speak from what we think is wisdom when we don’t really know what we are talking about?


I sit in cafes studying and often others are there carrying on conversations that are hard to ignore.  Often the conversations do not deal with ideas.  Often they deal with people that are not there.  I listen to people who feel that someone they know went to the wrong doctor or they didn’t go to the doctor soon enough.  They often talk about how someone is being mistreated or they don’t know how to handle their money.  In any case, they are talking about other people’s problems without really knowing what they are talking about.  I have often said that if you want to know God’s will for your life, ask someone.  They will be able to tell you since we tend to be so sure about other people’s lives and failures.  However, if you ask them if they are sure that they know the will of God in their own lives, they will likely say that they are not sure.


We know that God sets standards of holiness and they should not be violated; however, when people have problems, how can we be so sure we know why they are having them?  Job’s three friends sat with him for seven days without saying anything.  That may have been the wisest thing that they did.  God does not overlook sin, but when we do not know that a person has committed sin, why is it so easy to charge them with sin?  Of course, the Lord was charged with sinning by men who didn’t care about truth.  But I suspect, Job’s three friends did care about truth but they spoke based on preconceived assumptions when they should have been listening. What they were saying is what makes sense to most people. Job was supposedly suffering for some sin and if he would just confess and forsake it, God would bless him.  Unfortunately, they did not know that Job was suffering for righteousness as a testimony to Satan.


Swift to hear and Slow to Speak

So we should be swift to hear and slow to speak.  That way we wouldn’t be miserable comforters and we might even be able to support one who is suffering for righteousness sake.  Of course, if as we listen, we do find out that there is a drug problem or alcohol problem that needs addressing, we should be honest and try to find a way to address the problem in a compassionate way. 


I am thinking that most of us are like Job’s three friends.  We assume that we know when we don’t have a clue.  That is why we must listen to the Holy Spirit before we are saved.  Most people think that being good will get them into heaven.  It won’t because the law deals with the bad we do, not the good. Some think the Lord died for his own sin and not for the sin of the world.  Most Jews still think his tomb is empty because the disciples stole His body to perpetuate the myth that He was the Son of God.  We need to start listening because what we think is right in spiritual matters is usually wrong.  (See Isaiah 55:8-9). 


What lies have we told, what gossip have we spread that the Lord will truthfully record in his books as having been nothing but innuendo and lies?  I hope that the Lord helps me to do more listening and less speaking so that I can edify others, and so that I don’t needlessly destroy them or their reputations.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of July 2, 2017

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