It turns out that this well known after dinner treat served in most Chinese food restaurants isn’t actually Chinese, it’s Japanese. The tale about how the fortune cookie made its way from Japan to our American Chinese restaurants is told in Jennifer Lee’s book , The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. In the book she tackles a number of misconceptions on the origin of food. Yet, our culinary wold is not the only place where we find misconceptions.
In fact, misconceptions abound all around us. They skew our opinion on life and popular culture. They change the reason and way we interact with people. Misconceptions change the very way we choose to approach God.
Just look at the curious case of Simon as told in the book of Acts 8:9-25.Simon practiced magic in Samaria. He posed as a famous man and dazzled all the Samaritans with his wizardry. But when Philip came to town announcing the news of God’s kingdom and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ, they forgot Simon and were baptized. When Simon witnessed the miracles Phillip was performing, he followed along in hopes of understanding more how the miracles being performed. Astounded by what he saw, he hoped to re-establish his position of notoriety. He offered the apostles money in exchange for his power. Simon had a fundamental misconception about God’s power and blessings. He sought power for his own comfort and success. He sought to purchase the blessing and receive power without putting in the time.
Simon is not alone. Many of us seek God for the wrong reasons, we want the blessings but aren’t willing to give Him the time. Some of us see God as a provider of the safe life or the comfortable life. Some of us treat God as if he were a genie in a bottle here to grant us our wishes. Still others treat God as an insurance policy, “just in case there really is a hell.”
Peter’s response to Simon is the same response we need to hear loud and clear. “Repent of your wickedness, that the intent of your heart may be forgiven.”
The bad news is that we all hold misconceptions about God and try to use Him for our benefit.
The good news is that the gospel confirms that despite our wickedness God calls us to repent and affirms that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
That truth is not a misconception but rather a fundamental truth that “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9)
Praying with you and for you,