Christian beliefs provide support and comfort for many individuals. However, some beliefs can have unintended harmful impacts and consequences on an individual's self-concept and sense of worth. Here are five that do just that.
A person’s number one priority should be serving God.
This belief teaches a servitude complex, in which a person must endlessly serve others (which is serving God) and sacrifice their well-being in order to be a “good person.” This leads to burnout and individuals who are operating in a depleted, resentful, and under-resourced state. For true mental health, we need to be responsible for our own needs, which means acknowledging them, meeting them, and making them an equal priority to serving others and God.
Money is the root of all evil.
Money is a resource that can enable us to do powerful things. By labeling money as “evil,” it keeps money out of the hands of those who could do immense good. It also ignores the fact that poverty has negative consequences on personal well-being, families, and community health. There is a healthy middle ground that can be found with money.
Thoughts can be sinful.
We have no control over the thoughts that enter our mind. To teach that certain thoughts are sinful (such as ones about sex, lust, anger, murder, etc.), makes an individual feel they are wrong for having such a thought and produces a shame spiral. When a thought enters our mind, we can choose to entertain that thought or let it go. THAT is the place of choice.
Anger is sin.
Anger is an important sign that something we value is in jeopardy. It is not a sin or bad to feel anger - it is a necessary feeling that provides us with important information. I wrote an entire essay on this called Anger is Not Sin.
Faith will resolve a person’s problems.
While faith can be a comfort for things that are out of our control (such as when a loved one is suffering), action is needed for problems that are within our control. For example, a person struggling with addiction will need support groups, therapy, changes in environment, changes in behavior, and more to not return to addiction.
Thank you for reading. I provide art therapy for individuals going through
religious deconstruction. You can learn more here.