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That’s Not How This Works

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.

6 thoughts on “That’s Not How This Works

  1. I couldn’t agree more Shara–and yes that commercial actually speaks volumes…
    No, it’s not how any of this is suppose to work—you can’t simply erase or “black-out” that which you don’t like or find “offensive” because that IS NOT how it works.
    Sin is sin.
    I wrote about this mindset today—we are living in a society that has decided that it does not like the notion of sin…nor the condemnation sin leaves the sinner with—rather then being convicted, forgiven and a new creation…everyone wants to stay in the sin, forget the conviction and instead we’ll just create a new creation…one that lets us do as we please when we please with nary a consequence.
    This mindset is growing wider and deeper by the day as society works fast and furious rewriting the narrative.
    Jesus did not say that to follow him would be easy or painless….it is the narrow gate—not the wide open gate that says come live as you please cause it’s all good…
    IT’S NOT ALL GOOD…and until we are ready or prepared or both to see our sinful self for what it is we will continue to use a sharpie to black-out the parts we don’t like!!!!

  2. Great truth and illustration!
    I don’t really understand doing that to your Bible because then you really can’t ever read those passages again…at least in that Bible… I guess you could have more than one. I agree with you – that’s not how it works!

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