It would be nice to have short, direct answers and quick, easy fixes for all the problems in our lives. When we are sick, we would like the doctor to give us the perfect pill to cure us. If you are having a hard time with marriage or parenting, some books guarantee to revolutionize your relationships overnight!
We know life is more complicated than that. But some of us think that we might find that kind of help from God. He can do miracles, right? Just give me a few Bible verses that will fix my marriage. If I can say the right prayer about my suffering, anxiety, or anger, he could take all my struggles away.
Lots of Christian teaching reflects this mindset. People look to the Bible for random bits of wisdom on specific issues that can be plugged into anyone’s life. Sometimes they don’t even bother to understand what a verse means in its context. They just interpret it to fit the need.
If you take that approach, most of Scripture seems irrelevant and pointless. But in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul says,
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
The piecemeal approach to the Bible misses the point! God does not want to be consulted occasionally for advice on a few problems. He calls us to walk with him consistently throughout our lives. Our struggles are all part of the journey. Key verses on various issues do not stand on their own. They are signposts in the life of faith.
The Bible tells the story of how our relationship with God was lost and is being restored. So, every part of it is relevant to our walk with him. Even something as seemingly obscure as the process for ordaining Jewish priests in Exodus 29 teaches us important truths about our battle with sin. When applied to your life, those truths will make you a better spouse, a better parent, a better friend, and a better employee.
God knows what we need to know and how we need to hear it. Embrace the whole story and let it guide you forward in the life of faith.
– Bryan Craddock