Photo courtesy: Pinterest
There’s a funny car insurance commercial floating around where an elderly woman is proudly posting her photos “to her wall” but instead of Facebook, she’s just pinning them to her actual wall. Her friend comes in and tells her she’s doing it wrong by proclaiming “that’s not how this works… that’s not how any of this works…” to which the little old lady announces “I unfriend you!”
The other day, Pinterest “recommended” this picture to me under the category of “Bible study”. It took me a minute to understand what was happening, but basically you take a sharpie to your Bible and black out whatever words don’t “stand out” while leaving blank the words that do. What you are left with is what every college refrigerator looked like circa 1990-something with that magnetic poetry trend: random words you throw together to make a sentence.
Apparently this is a big youth group activity now, it’s artsy or edgy or something. I’m such a Debbie Downer, I know… but I have to refer back to my elderly commercial friend and say “that’s not how this works..”
Friends, we can’t turn Gods word into our own personal à la carte buffet, taking what we want and leaving the rest. It’s not easy, I admit, we all have our own lens through which we see God and our world, but it is vitally important we take the whole Bible as relevant and useful.
I get it, it’s just an encouraging exercise for teens or people less boring than myself. I sit with my Bible and I highlight like it’s going out of style, but I don’t black out to create my own truths. Big difference. There’s an odd little article over at HuffPo about how we should actually be cherry-picking from our religious texts because no way can all those things passed down from our ancestors still be relevant.
The biggest issue here is not so much in the creation of little artsy activities as much as it is in the general ignorance and disregard we have towards the Bible. We partake of the milk parts and not the meaty ones. Instead of being our daily bread and sustenance, we snack on some of it once in awhile and wonder why we are starving.
Here’s the point: if we treat Gods word as some silly play thing, we shouldn’t be surprised when confusion becomes our new normal, or even when its encouraged. His word is sufficient, it is complete, and it doesn’t need tweaking.
We are a distracted people… myself included. Good things can derail us if we aren’t careful. We get so obsessed with the doing part that we can miss the being with Jesus part entirely.
Friends, please don’t water down or limit the words He wants to speak to you. The whole book, all the verses, easy, difficult and in between. Let the hard ones drive you further into study, believe me, God can handle our questions. Don’t skew His message into something weird. If you want to make some things up, get some of those fridge magnets – if they are still trendy.