Myths That Make Us Miserable

A few days before I headed off to basic training a friend of mine who had already been to basic training told me an interesting story. In the training cycle right before his, there was a guy who couldn’t take it and tried to commit suicide. In an effort to kill himself, he tied the electrical cord of the floor buffer around his neck and through it off the second story landing. However, his attempt was unsuccessful because the cord was too long and the buffer crashed to the ground and broke to pieces. When his drill sergeants saw what he had done, they brought him up on disciplinary charges for destroying government property.

When I arrived at basic training, there was a guy there from the training cycle right before ours. He had been injured and wasn’t able to ship out after graduation. One night he told us a story about something that happened in the cycle right before his. It turns out there was a guy who couldn’t take it and tried to commit suicide. In an effort to kill himself, he tied the electrical cord of the floor buffer around his neck and through it off the second story landing. However, his attempt was unsuccessful because the cord was too long and the buffer crashed to the ground and broke to pieces. When his drill sergeants saw what he had done, they brought him up on disciplinary charges for destroying government property. I found this rather interesting since my friend who also told me this story had trained at an entirely different post about three years earlier. I didn’t give it a lot of thought.

Several years later, I enlisted in the Regular Army and went to Ft. Jackson S.C to in process, and prepare to ship overseas. While I was there, I was stationed with people from all parts of the Army. We had all pretty much gone to different places for basic training and had gone at different times. I was at Ft. Jackson about 2.5 weeks and in that time I had 2-3 different people tell me a story about something that happened in the training cycle right before theirs in basic training. Yep, you guessed it. It was the ole failed “floor buffer suicide story.”

Between the Regular Army and the National Guard, I was in the military for a total of 11 years. In my 11 years, I was amazed at how many people had someone in the basic training cycle right before theirs try and fail to commit suicide with a floor buffer. In light of the number of times I heard this story, I was forced to conclude that it really couldn’t have happened to all of those people. My theory is that it may, and I stress the word may, have happened once and from there the story took on a life of its own. Now there are many people from many different branches of the military who tell the mythical story about the person in the training cycle right before theirs who tried to kill himself with a floor buffer only to destroy the floor buffer and be disciplined for destroying government property.

We live in a day where myths abound. Chances are every one of us receives e-mails with mythical stories that are meant to anger us, cause us to feel sad or make us afraid. After all, who wants to go to hell for failing to confessing Christ before man by not forwarding an e-mail to everyone in our contact list? Usually these myths are harmless. Many of them are easy enough to debunk if we put out a little effort to look. However, there are times when believing these myths will influence the way we act and cause problems. There are even times when believing these myths can make our lives miserable. In my blog this week I’m going to debunk some “Christian myth’s” that if  believed can and will make us miserable. The myths include:

We only suffer because we don’t have enough faith or we are out of God’s will. This myth says that we can totally avoid suffering in this life if we have enough faith. Therefore suffering and hardship only come when we lack faith or are out of God’s will.

God never gives us more than we can bear. This oft repeated myth usually comes into play when someone is suffering or going through a hard time. Then a well meaning Christian comes to them and says, “You can do this because God never gives you more than you can bear.

God owes me. This myth says that through our good deeds we can put God into our debt and He repays us by keeping us from hardships. When we have done all that we are supposed to do and we suffer anyway then God has failed us because “God owes me.”

 

Not only will we look at the myths that make us miserable but we will also look at the truth that sets us free.

How have you seen these myths make people miserable?

Are there any myths that make us miserable I’m missing?

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