9 Lies Undermining the Faith of Young People

When young people enter the doors of a church, we hope they are able to use what they are taught to counter the lies Satan is “whispering” in their ears. Lies designed to undermine their still immature faith. Lies that often sound better to them than the truths they are learning from scripture. Unfortunately though, if we don’t address those lies directly, many young people will believe them…never realizing the serious consequences that result from those beliefs.

While Satan uses many lies…some of which are specifically targeted to certain individuals, he seems to have some favorites he consistently uses with young people.

  • It’s all about me. Call it entitled, selfish or self focused, this lie leads young people down a path away from God. It starts out seemingly innocent enough….perhaps expressing dislike for a particular worship song or an activity in Bible class. Eventually, it morphs into a belief that the young person should have the world, the church and even God under his or her control. If he or she believes a command is annoying or inconvenient…out it goes. If she or he isn’t allowed to lead singing or preach or whatever he or she has decided he or she was “meant” to do, the anger begins to build. If he or she is corrected for ungodly attitudes or behaviors, you might even see a tantrum of sorts. Scratch below the surface of many of the reasons young adults give for leaving the church and you will find a list of ways they were expected to defer to God rather than doing what they wanted.
  • I will learn everything I need in Church. This lie is particularly sneaky because on the surface the person who believes it cares about being who God wants him or her to be. Unfortunately, even faithful attenders don’t spend enough time in church and Bible classes to learn everything God wants them to know. Which means believing this lie creates large gaps in knowledge and wisdom. Which also means those with the gaps are more likely to sin or make poor choices which might have been avoided if they had spent time studying scripture outside of worship.
  • God wants me to be happy. This is a corollary to “It’s all about me.” Usually, this lie is believed by young people who are smart enough to know they don’t want to go to Hell and shouldn’t sin, but still really, really want to sin. The thought process is that the sin isn’t really a sin in their case because God values their happiness more than their holiness.
  • God wants me to be miserable. This is actually the flip side of “God wants me to be happy”, but more often used by young people who are critical or more negative in their attitudes. The thinking is that they don’t need to…in fact shouldn’t….obey any God who only wants them to be miserable.
  • My emotions/feelings help me make great, godly decisions. This lie is often believed by tender hearted young people or entitled young people. It can be a symptom of a good thing…trying to better understand and reconcile God’s nature. Unfortunately, their lack of Bible knowledge and wisdom leaves them confused. They also begin confusing their emotions for their conscience and often reach poor conclusions based on faulty logic. This often looks like “God is loving, so He wouldn’t send people who disobey Him to Hell.” Or “How could a loving God allow this to happen?” Or “ God wouldn’t ‘make’ me want to do this or feel this way if He didn’t want me to disobey that command of His.” Ultimately, it boils down to doing something because it feels right or wrong, not because God said it was right or wrong.
  • Culture/my teacher is (or I am) smarter than God. Parents are familiar with this dynamic even outside of the spiritual realm. There is a certain arrogance that comes with youth. Parents are out of touch and stupid. “Old people” are out of touch and stupid. Eventually, God is out of touch and stupid. This is arrogance in its purest form. While they may not admit that’s how they feel, their attitudes and words often easily expose their belief in this lie.
  • There is no Hell. They probably won’t say that, although some might. This lie is believed because denial allows them to sin without the accompanying guilt. It can also be believed because they are taught there is no absolute right and wrong and there are multiple paths to God….which means there is no need to share their faith, because nothing bad will happen to non-believers. Still a form of denial, though.
  • There is a third path. Those who believe this lie are often the ones who have chosen not to get baptized and are in their late high school years. Satan has convinced them there are three paths, one for Christians, one for those who reject God and a third for those who want to go to Heaven, but enjoy living a sinful life until they are “old”. The thinking is there will be no earthly or heavenly consequences for those sins, they will live a long life and will somehow get a warning right before they die so they can repent and go to Heaven. Sometimes the belief in this lie is disguised under some version of “I’m just not sure”. The belief is that indecision places them firmly on that third imaginary path. It’s another form of denial.
  • God doesn’t care what I think, say or do as long as I…. The belief in this lie takes a lot of different forms. The young people who believe it may not be able to even articulate exactly what fills in that blank for them. Often though, it’s a belief that attending worship services, praying, having a godly family, identifying as a Christian, “wanting” to do the right thing or something else somehow exempts them from any negative consequences their intentional – often enmeshed -sinning might normally cause.

The best way to address these lies is by helping young people face the truth. They may not want to believe it. They may not choose to believe it. Teaching them the fallacy of these lies though, will help many of them reject them. Don’t give up fighting the lies in a young person’s life. It may take a lot of time, effort and unfortunately sometimes negative earthly consequences for them to finally accept the truth. They can’t reject lies they don’t know are lies though, so make sure your Bible students are informed and watchful.

Categories Bible, Culture
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