The New York Times recently published a piece by opinion columnist David Brooks titled "Five Lies Our Culture Tells."
The Yale lecturer-New York Times Best Seller-PBS/NBC/NPR Commentator-Times columnist wrote an interesting piece highlighting the ways that he feels American culture has engrained lies in its society, specifically the minds of young people.
"It's become clear in the interim that things are not in good shape, that our problems are societal. The whole country is going through some sort of spiritual and emotional crisis. College mental health facilities are swamped, suicide rates are spiking, the president's repulsive behavior is tolerated or even celebrated by tens of millions of Americans. At the root of it all is the following problem: We've created a culture based on lies", said Brooks.
After giving the piece a read, I could not agree more with the lies that Brooks identified.
I believe that these lies deserve rebuttals, so here they are. The Bible gives us answers, refutes the lies, and offers much better alternatives to living in the lies.
1. Lie: Career success is fulfilling.
Truth: The only real and lasting fulfillment, satisfaction, or contentment we can ever have is through Jesus.
Psalm 145:15-16--"The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing."
John 4:14--"But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Psalm 107:9--"For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things."
Psalm 103:5--"He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's!"
Romans 5:5--"And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."
Colossians 3:23--"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."
Isaiah 55:2-- "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food."
2. Lie: I can make myself happy.
Truth: Along the same lines as the first lie, you can never find true and lasting happiness, joy, and peace in yourself, but from leaning on God.
Psalm 16:11--You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is the fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Isaiah 58:11--"And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."
Romans 15:13--"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
2 Chronicles 9:7--"How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!"
John 15:11--"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."
3. Lie: Life is an individual journey.
Truth: We were designed to lean on God and one another, creating community and fellowshipping and being there for others and working together!!!
Hebrews 10:24--"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Ecclesiastes 4:9--"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up."
Ecclesiastes 4:12--"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
4. Lie: You have to find your own truth.
Truth: There is only one truth, Jesus. That's it.
John 14:6--"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 8:32--"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."John 16:13--"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."
5. Lie: Rich and successful people are worth more than poorer and less successful people.
Truth: God sees us all on a way deeper level than possessions and titles. He sees us as people, loves all of us equally, and could not care less about dumb money on earth. So neither should we!!
Hebrews 13:5--Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Ecclesiastes 5:10--He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.
1 Timothy 6:17-19--As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
Luke 12:15--And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
Romans 12:16-- Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.