“So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.” -Hebrews 3:12
The subject of evil sure has been coming up a lot lately in my world. First off, Andy spoke about this in our first week of the series we’re in called “Top 5 Questions.” He addressed the question of why is there evil in the world. Just the other night we were talked with some friends about this very topic. Then, in the teaser for the Truth Project tour for this week, Dr. Tackett aims to address the subject of evil and how it fits into our worldview. Today, I open up Hebrews 3 and this verse catches my eye, discussing evil unbelief. Excited to see where it’s headed and gain a new perspective of this topic of interest. I can’t stop here though. It’s time to do some investigative work on this subject, and especially with this verse I ran across today.
I find it interesting that this verse talks about unbelief as being evil. Unbelief is a word that we use too lightly perhaps to describe when our faith seems small and we don’t trust God in the full sense. This is what unbelief is, but to think of it as evil seems a little too harsh. “It’s not that I don’t trust God, it’s that I’m just so weak right now,” we might justify to ourselves. I feel a “poor me” excuse when I think of unbelief. But in all reality, we are cowering from doing what we know is Godly. That, right there, is sin. There’s no excuse for unbelief.
If we know unbelief is evil, how do we let it creep into our lives and take our minds captive? I think it comes partially from ignorance, honestly. We aren’t sure what we believe, and we never take the time to slow down and figure it out. Therefore, unbelief grows like a vine weed, fast and furious. The sole reason? We aren’t dead set on knowing the truth. We aren’t sure what’s right, so we muddle through life, with a little confusion and a lot of mindless regurgitation of what we might think maybe could possibly be truth. When the going gets rough, evil unbelief is lying around, tripping us up, throwing us off course.
I also believe that other people have the ability to influence (consciously and subconsciously) what we believe. For example, when friends treat us badly, we begin to believe something (true or false) about relationships. Our lives are shaped greatly by experience. A broken relationship can make a person believe that relating with other people in community is not worth it. We know God designed us for relationship. Without it, things would be worse, even worse than the pain caused by broken relationships.
This is why it is so incredibly important for us not to look to others to shape our belief system. Don’t put too much stock in human beings. They’ll let you down.
Here’s a situation someone I know has seen play out in the past. First, it must begin with the truth that this person didn’t choose to believe: God provides. It all started with a rocky friendship. This person let that single relationship dictate their next move. They became self-conscious, fearful, nervous, and envious of the successful friendships that were all around. “There must be something wrong with me, no one really likes me, they”re just faking it, no one calls, no one cares…'”
These lies along with many others are what consumed this person’s mind. These equate to evil unbelief. Instead of choosing to believe that God would provide a healthy friendship even after hardships, they chose to believe the opposite. There’s that poor me attitude. It doesn’t seem sinful because they felt like they did nothing wrong in the scope of the broken relationship. That unbelief slithered right in, justified the feelings of rejection and then purged its lies. It is so easy to believe those lies in our weakness.
Figure out what you believe. Watch where you’re going. And:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8