Are You Getting Cheated?

How do you decide what you will think and do? What influences your mind? Are you being cheated of an influence that can change your life for the better?

Are You Getting Cheated?
Everywhere we turn, we hear advice on how to ensure we are living our lives to the fullest. Unfortunately, much of the advice we hear is actually cheating us out of true happiness.

Do you listen to music? Do you watch movies? Do you read self-help books? In other words, what influences your thinking about how to live your life?

Modern media and the 24/7 Facebook-posting generation has created a virtual barrage of influences on our daily lives. Pick your poison: social media, television shows, movies, music, popular self-help books, opinion news, talk radio and so on. In this jumble of modern influences, how is a so-called “archaic” Bible to survive as a legitimate guide for people’s lives? Where do we turn to learn how to live? The Bible seems to be losing in our chaotic modern world.


That is too bad, considering the options. We are literally being cheated out of happiness by ignoring the Bible in favor of these other influences. Consider these examples:

We are being cheated out of happiness by ignoring the Bible in favor of other influences.1. Modern influences: Casual sex is romanticized to seem alluring and exciting. Millions of young people use apps like Tinder as part of the “hook up” culture. The latest craze is romanticizing abuse. The 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon has caused millions of (mostly) women to see abuse as alluring. But does this sexual behavior really leave people feeling loved—or cheated?

The Bible: Love and respect someone enough to commit to him or her in marriage before having sex. Look at other human beings as actual human beings who deserve respect, instead of as sex objects for your enjoyment (Genesis 2:23; Leviticus 19:18). “Forbidden fruit” destroys your life and leaves you in misery, so avoid it (Genesis 3:16-19).

2. Modern influences: People are encouraged to either make up their own religion or find one that doesn’t expect them to do anything. The “Christianity” that’s popular is the one that allows you to decide for yourself what God wants you to do. Church is seen as a fun social gathering, but shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Be spiritual and not religious—is the message—avoid all commitment and still have “experiences.”

The Bible: Get to know and interact with the living God and His people. Commit to a plan to assist God in literally saving the world by being lights and spreading the gospel across the earth. Use God’s Holy Spirit inside you, guiding you through this physical life (James 4:8; John 3:17; Acts 2:38).

3. Modern influences: Happiness is often measured by how many things we accumulate. The latest tech gadgets, bigger TVs, cars, etc., can all be things people desire to be happy. And if you can’t afford these things, there are always credit cards!

The Bible: Be content with your physical needs being met, and actually try to find enjoyment in other human beings and (most importantly) God. Be good stewards of the physical blessing of money that God allows you to have, so that you can enjoy life and help others. Do not work to become rich, but work to support your family and enjoy the benefits of your labor (1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19).

Sound familiar?

Modern influences are seemingly all around us. The Bible, too, is widely available. It has been around for centuries, yet it’s disregarded by the majority.  


Satan the devil is the enemy of God and humanity. He is very real and specializes in influencing humanity to ignore the Bible. He wants nothing more than to get you to develop ideas—any ideas—as long as they are outside of God’s Word.  

Think about these examples of the confusion he brings to our world:

  • People call themselves enlightened and peaceful, but also excuse violence for a good cause as well as support millions of abortions each year.
  • Millions call themselves “Christian,” but do many things completely contrary to what Christ taught.

It’s not hopeless

Have you allowed yourself to be cheated out of the amazing happiness revealed in the Bible in order to reflect the ideas of a being who literally wants to destroy you?

We publish many resources that show the truth and relevance of the Bible to your life. Download and read our free study guide 7 Keys to Better Bible Study to learn how following God’s Word can benefit your life today.  

About the Author

Eddie Foster

Eddie Foster

Eddie Foster was born in Ohio, and after living in several parts of the northeastern United States, he once again lives in the Buckeye State, most likely for good this time. He lives in the Dayton area with his wife, Shannon, and two daughters, Isabella and Marley. They attend the Cincinnati/Dayton congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.

Read More


Discern is published every two months and is available in digital and print versions. Choose your preferred format to start your subscription.

Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe


Please choose your region:


Discern Article Series

Christ Versus Christianity
Walk as He Walked
Christianity in Progress
Wonders of God's Creation
Ask a Question