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5 Ways to Be Discipled by Biblical Truth and Not Culture

Recently I was driving in my car and had Spotify on shuffle. After a few familiar songs ran through the playlist a song came on that I hadn’t heard since middle school. Without missing a beat I nailed every single lyric as if my purpose on earth was to sing that song. My rearview mirror was rather impressed. 

As I continued to drive, I thought about the lyrics that had been ingrained in my mind during my pubescent years. When I was 12, my innocence allowed me to scream lyrics at the top of my lungs without ever actually analyzing their implicit meaning. But at 25, hearing those same lyrics, I was struck with the realization that I’ve committed to memory, and therefore been discipled by, thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs that I have no desire to model my life after. 

Upon this realization I wondered if this had happened to other people. So I began to listen to the advice that was being given around me. Things like: 

“You are perfect just the way you are.” 

“Just follow your feelings wherever they take you.” 

“You’re only young once, don’t let anyone hold you down.” 

These are just a few trees among a forest of advice that I heard over that past week as I intentionally listened. It troubled me, what is our source for the advice that we give? Where are these ideas that people are building their life on even coming from? Hopeful, I set out to find scriptures that parallel the “wisdom” that I kept hearing being imparted to my peers. Unfortunately… I found very few parallels, and I was left wallowing in this thought… 

We’ve been discipled by culture more than by scripture. 

We’ve committed more full length songs to memory than we have biblical verses. 

We’ve committed years to sporting events and mere minutes to God. 

We allow in our presence what God clearly condemns, and we’re entertained by the very things that Christ died for. This realization is uncomfortable, but I invite you to allow the weight of discomfort to sit in your life long enough to create change. Real, lasting, change. 

Our hearts and our minds are containers, and we can choose what to fill them with. My dad always said “Garbage in, garbage out.” And as cliché as it is… it is true. We must play both offense and defense when it comes to our hearts and our minds. Offensively guiding and directing the things that bring life, while defending against the onslaught of information that may be culturally accepted but not biblically true. 

Proverbs 4:23 says: 

“Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it”

What do we guard? Things of value that could come under attack. 

If I told you that your heart was under attack, would you believe me? Because it is… and how are you guarding it? With pithy cultural ideas that when examined have no truth to stand on, or with biblical truth that has stood the test of time? 

You see everything you expose yourself to is discipling you in some way. The music you listen to, the shows that you watch, the posts that you like.  And if you are not guarding your heart by knowing what is biblically true, then your city has no walls. You’ve invited in the enemy while your army is away, and even worse… you are sharing the advice that you’ve accepted as truth. 

There are typically two reasons at the center of why we accept something as truth: 

  1. It bore fruit in our life
  2. Consistent exposure made us adopt a belief

Is the advice that you’re giving bearing fruit in your life and the lives around you? Are you walking free from bondage? Are you growing deeply in a relationship that honors God? Do you find peace in the promises you’ve accepted? Or has culture just showed you something enough times that you’ve adopted it as truth? 

Some of you are giving advice to your children that you gleaned from a song, written by a man you would never model your life after when the creator of the universe has given you profitable wisdom. 

We must be on guard knowing that we are more malleable than we’d ever believe, and that everything we come across is discipling us in some way.  Audit your life and the thoughts that you’ve built it on. Is there a foundation of biblical truth that it stands on? If not, how can we change that and begin to walk in the promises that God has for us? 

If you find that you’re walking in cultural “wisdom” and not biblical truth, we at Humbled Daily would love to help. Here are a few ideas that may get you started. 

  1. Audit your life. What do you believe and why do you believe it? What is the source of the things you have built your life, love, and relationships on? 
  2. Read. Biblical truths are within the covers of your Bible. If you’re not spending time in the word then you came to the battlefield without your sword. You’ve already lost. It is impossible to weigh cultural “wisdom” to biblical truth if you do not know what the Bible actually says. 
  3. Speak with the one who created truth. Prayer is amazing, and it is a direct line to God. If you don’t feel peace around an idea that you’ve formerly deemed as true, speak with God on it. Seek Him daily. As in every. single. day. 
  4. Bring it to your community. It is impossible to walk in the life God has called you to if you are not in community bearing each other’s burdens and refining towards truth. Discuss ideas that you aren’t sure about with your group. Look for scriptural support and grow together as you do. 
  5. Commit it to memory. Part of guarding your heart is putting on the armor. Knowing what is true in your mind and your heart fills up your container and is your best defense from counterfeit truth.  

If we are honest with ourselves… we love our culture more than we love our God, and the time we devote is the currency that reveals this is true. Spend time with God, learn His truths, and advise those around you biblically. Every day you are being influenced by culture, make choices that spur you and those around you towards holiness. Grow deeper in joy by walking into deeper intimacy with the Creator. After all, His commands are not there to rip you off, they are there to set you free. 

Sharable Quotes: 

Quinn Rivera // Humbled Daily Co-founder, doctor in training and aspiring professional lover of life.

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3 comments

  • It’s the mundane, daily time studying the Word, journaling, listening to sermons, that become our response and reality during a crisis. We rarely know when a crisis will hit, only that it will. In the aftermath, such as death of a loved one, conventional wisdom for grief also says “Just follow your feelings wherever they take you” with little boundary. I’m thankful we have a God who hears us, who is a refuge, and is “higher than I.” (Psalm 61:1-3). Thankful that his peace which surpasses all human wisdom and understanding WILL guard our heart and mind (Philippians 4:7) when we relinquish control and submit to Him.

    Jim Conzelman
  • Thanks, Quinn for holding up this mirror for me see my reflection in. When I examine and compare my life (thoughts, words and actions) to Biblical standards, I see positive attributes and room for growth. Truly, I am humbled daily.

    Jon Mullins
  • Thank you so much for these words….you have no idea how much I needed to hear this today!

    Anne Bleicher

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