As Bob Is My Witless
The title of this article is a phrase that I used to hear in a children's show that my daughters watched years ago. Of course, it was an intentionally garbled version of "As God is my witness," a phrase commonly used by someone who is trying to emphasize that they are telling the truth. The phrase actually does appear in the Bible — the Apostle Paul uses it at the beginning of his letter to the Romans as he wants them to believe that he really is praying for them often (Romans 1:9).
There are many phrases from the scriptures that get turned around or garbled such that the perceived meaning is quite different from what was intended by the writer. Here are three quotes from the scriptures for which I've seen this occur – note how different the meaning of the phrase is from what was actually being said.
- "Money is the root of all evil" – If this is true, we'd better get rid of our money as quickly as possible (some of us are doing a good job of this already). The actual quote from Paul is "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:10). Clearly, it's the love of money that's the problem, as that causes us to covet after it to the point of derailing our spiritual lives.
- "Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also" – I heard this quote from a politician once as a way of saying that we should invest in something we're passionate about (or at least something he wanted us to be passionate about). This quote is actually the reverse of what Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21). He encourages us to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth.
- "You can't serve God and Mormon" – Believe it or not, someone actually quoted this to me when I was on a missionary trip, after insisting that the Bible said not to believe in the Book of Mormon. I smiled and then calmly explained that the actual quote of Jesus was "Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24). "Mammon" is another word for money. Jesus was teaching that we can't serve two masters, so we need to make sure we're putting God first.
When you put the above three passages (the correct ones) together, they form some solid teaching about not allowing the pursuit of earthly possessions to come before the things of God. Or you can use the other versions and conclude that money is evil, Jesus wants us to invest in political causes, and we shouldn't believe in the Book of Mormon. Follow the correct versions, and your spiritual life will benefit. I assure you that this is true (as Bob is my witless).
Summer Reading Challenge Daily Assignment
2 Nephi 3-4
This article has undergone ministry review and approval