Superstition

September 13, 1999
by Michael Ames

John 14:5-6 – Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life." (NIV)

For most of my adult life I have looked upon superstitious people with profound contempt. After I became a Christian, I sought to change this inappropriate attitude, but occasionally I fall into the old habit.

I know an intelligent and reasonable woman who pores over her daily horoscope, and makes plans based on its contents. One day, in casual conversation I said: "You know, all that astrology stuff is nonsense." And to my surprise she agreed with me, explaining that astrology had no scientific validity, and that the practitioners were really just making it up.

"But," she said, "I like to read my stars… and… there just might be something to it!" I shook my head, smiling and frowning at her foolishness.

My brother-in-law buys lottery tickets, ones where he has to choose the numbers. When selecting the numbers he presses his hand to his forehead, fingers crossed, and "thinks hard". Sometimes he makes humming sounds, shaking his head, as if to dislodge a number from his skull.

"Have you ever won?", I asked.
"Well… no, but…", he said, downcast.
"So, your method doesn't really work then," I chided.
"But I've come so close. Maybe this time it will work!"
I chuckled at that for days afterward.

I haven't found myself "taken in" for years, but yesterday I discovered a chink in my mental armour, and my sinful pride was revealed. A respected friend once told me that she distrusted people with blue eyes. She was convinced that blue-eyed people were selfish and cruel. At the time I considered her arguments carefully, then (privately) dismissed the idea. But did I really dismiss it? My wife has beautiful, blue eyes. She is kind and constant and selfless and loving. But today I found myself wondering if she were not perhaps selfish and cruel, because of her blue eyes. Someone believes this theory… so therefore, might there be something to it? No. What a hateful thought! What blatant superstition. I gasped with horror. I had fallen to that level which I so smugly disdained in others.

The devil is alive and well, working his calumnies, whispering evil. Of ourselves we can do nothing. But our Lord promised to help us. (Thank you, Lord!) Superstition may creep into our lives, but abiding in Jesus, who is the truth, will help us weed it out!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may you, who are truth incarnate, bring light to every thought, so that we will see the way through lies and falsehoods that seek only to destroy. This we ask in your name. Amen.

About the author:

Michael Ames
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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