Misconception #1 Faith is a mysterious force.
Some think of faith as a force, as a mind-over-matter phenomenon. Some think it’s in the actual act of believing that something has the effect of making it come true. Unfortunately, some Christians think that if you believe in something hard enough then it will come true. Christians with this understanding think that you need to be positive regardless of the circumstances, otherwise you are lacking faith. They say things like “speak out your blessings” and that what “you confess you possess.”
I will never forget how somebody once rebuked me for saying it was going to be a miserable day. I was told, quite sternly, that I should have said it was going to be a beautiful day. However, the forecast for the day was for showers and no amount of wishful thinking was going to change the facts. You see, faith is not some mysterious force that in and of itself changes anything.
Misconception #2 Faith is the opposite of reason.
Some people think that faith and reason are opposites. Typically this is what you find taught in the secular media; that Christians have faith and secular people have reason. However, faith is not an alternative to facts.
In fact, faith is only valid only when it is placed in facts. You see, your faith must be placed in something. Faith does not exist in itself, it only exists as it is expressed toward an object. And the more facts you know about the object of your faith, the more confidence you can express in that object. That is why the way to grow your faith in God is always to learn more about him. As you learn more about his character and promises you will have more reasons to trust him.
Misconception #3 The size of your faith determines the outcome of your faith.
This misconception is an unfortunate reality for many Christians. While your faith can grow, it is not the size of your faith that determines the outcome of your faith – it is only the object of your faith that does.
You see, you can have a lot of faith in a broken chair, but if the chair is broken and you sit on it you are still going to be sorry. Conversely, you can go swimming with a rubber tire around your waist and be confident it will hold you! This is not because you had a lot of faith, but because the object in which you placed your faith was strong. Once again, the most important thing about faith is not the size of your faith, but the object in which you place your faith. Jesus said that faith the size of a mustard seed was able to do great things. This is not because of the size of the faith, but because of the greatness of the God in whom the faith is exercised.
That is why we must always look beyond our faith, keeping our eyes focused on its author and perfector (Hebrews 12:1).
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