“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.”
When it comes to the Bible, we live in a buffet culture whereby people pick and choose what they like and disregard what they don’t. But we can’t chew the meat and spit out the bones as it relates to God’s Word. We do not have the right to shun or switch up something to fit our tastes.
If you’ve read the Bible long enough, you have doubtlessly come across a passage that was hard to digest. It may be a passage about sin, repentance, judgment, suffering, wrath, or even hell. Here is the key: if deep in our hearts we have a distaste for something in God’s Word, such as the doctrine of sin, we don’t have the right to change the Bible to make it more digestible. Our duty is to align ourselves with God’s Word, not make it align with our preferences. Our job is to ask, “What does the Bible say?” not “What do I want it to say?”
When something about God’s Word is less than flavorful to us, we must realize that we are the problem, not God. Our responsibility is not to change God (He is immutable) or to create God in our own image, but to explore our hearts to discover why we are resisting His Word. When our emotions are at odds with a theological truth, we must resist the temptation to water down the Scriptures in the name of soothing our emotions. Rather, we must see this as a sanctification issue and ask ourselves, “Why do my emotions resist this theological truth?”
Next time you struggle swallowing a portion of Scripture, ask yourself: “Deep down do I struggle with the justice of God? Have I lost sight of God’s incomprehensible holiness? Am I blinded to the depth of my own depravity? Do I trust that God is simultaneously just and loving?”
Remember, it’s the hard portions that often reveal our heart problems. It’s often the things we wrestle with the most that disclose the hidden character flaws we battle most intensely. Ultimately, it comes down to trust. Do we trust the nature of God and believe that He is good? If so, that can help us to move confidently through the not-so-tasty portions of Scripture.
Thought to Ponder
Our job is to conform to Scripture rather than make it conform to us.
“Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).
Question to Consider
What parts of the Bible do you find yourself seeking to water down?