17 Things People Believe Jesus Said But He Never Did

Just because some things sound biblical doesn’t mean they are. There are many phrases and quotes that have been commonly misinterpreted as being something Jesus said but actually have different historical roots. Here are 17 things that Jesus did not say.

“God helps those who help themselves.”

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This quote cannot be found in the Bible. For example, Got Questions writes, “‘God helps those who help themselves’ is probably the most often quoted phrase that is not found in the Bible. This saying is usually attributed to Ben Franklin, quoted in Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1757.”

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

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This phrase has commonly been attributed to Jesus, even though it isn’t found in the Bible. It originates from St. Augustine’s letter, which was popularized by Gandhi. Even though Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, He didn’t actually say this particular quote but would most likely still agree with it.

“Money is the root of all evil.”

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The actual biblical quote for this phrase is “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). The misinterpretation of this quote means that the focus is less on a person loving money, which causes evil, and more on the fact that money is purely evil.

“God will never give you more than you can handle.”

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This is not a direct quote from the Bible and is supported by Truthfully Michelle, who tells us the exact quote is “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

“This too shall pass.”

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This quote isn’t found in the Bible and is instead a Persian adage. People often use this quote as a way to provide comfort to their loved ones in difficult times. It’s usually misinterpreted as being biblical because passages from the Bible are often about endurance and hope.

“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

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This is a misinterpretation of a quote from Matthew 7:1. The quote from Matthew warns against hypocritical judgment, not all judgment. Jesus encourages discernment and correction within a framework of love and humility. This quote is often used as a way to discourage any form of moral judgment, which is contrary to the Bible.

“To thine own self be true.”

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No Sweat Shakespeare writes, “‘To thine own self be true’ is a line from Act One, Scene Three of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet.” Even though this quote is commonly thought to be from the Bible, it actually has more of a humanist approach than a biblical one. Jesus always taught self-denial and following God’s will instead of a person’s own.

“Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

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This is a quote from John Wesley, not the Bible. It’s a phrase that reflects cultural values rather than something that’s biblical. Just because a quote has the word “God” in it does not automatically mean it’s biblical. Biblical quotes will focus more on the heart and moral cleanliness than anything physical.

“God wants you to be happy.”

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This quote was never said in the Bible and instead oversimplifies Jesus’s teachings on joy and happiness. Jesus always emphasized that joy comes from faith and obedience, not purely doing things that make you happy. The Bible also contains stories of people experiencing sadness and difficulties, which goes against this quote.

“Follow your heart.”

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This quote is a misinterpretation and not something Jesus ever said. Harvest tells us that the Bible says, “Do not follow your heart; follow God’s heart (in other words, His will).” This quote also contradicts Jeremiah 17:9, which warns about the deceitfulness of the heart.

“God loves me and accepts me as I am.”

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Even though God’s love is unconditional, biblical teachings also tell us that sometimes there needs to be repentance and transformation in a person. A misinterpretation of this quote can lead to complacency, and a person may ignore the call to holiness. Jesus invited sinners to change their lives and didn’t want them to stay as they were.

“You deserve to be happy.”

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This was never quoted by Jesus. “You deserve to be happy” focuses on entitlement rather than biblical themes of self-sacrifice and service. This quote contradicts what Jesus taught, which was self-denial and carrying their cross as a root of self-fulfillment. Pursuing personal happiness can go against the biblical calls for selflessness and obedience.

“Trust your gut.”

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Even though this quote was not said by Jesus, it’s often thought that it can be God’s way of speaking to you. For example, Hannah E. Broaddus writes, “It’s God that acts as your conscience, helps you make hard decisions, and guides you in creating a life that feels like your own.”

“We need to learn to love ourselves.”

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This is different from the biblical commandment, which states we need to love others as ourselves. This particular quote shows that we should always have an element of self-love. It focuses on self-esteem and self-acceptance without addressing the need for humility or focusing our love on others.

“God wants us to follow our dreams.”

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This goes against what the Bible actually teaches us, which is that God’s plans for us are paramount and aren’t always our personal dreams. This quote encourages us to pursue our own desires and not seek the will of God first. Jesus often asked for some kind of sacrifice and to set aside any ambitions, which doesn’t align with this quote.

“If I live a good life, I will go to Heaven.”

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The Christian Medical Fellowship writes that we need to do more than live a good, moral life to go to heaven. Biblical teachings focus more on faith, grace, and salvation than just making sure you live a good life. Jesus taught us that salvation is a gift of grace and not just earned through good deeds.

“Peace, love, and happiness.”

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Even though Jesus did teach us about peace and love, the concept of happiness is more of a modern thought. Biblical peace reflects completeness, wholeness, and well-being; it isn’t just about having no conflict in life. Love is also often seen as being sacrificial in the Bible and beyond contemporary understandings.

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