October 27, 2010
I Don't Want to Be a "good" Christian
"Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instruction."
Psalm 119:18 (NLT)
A good Christian should read the Bible.
A good Christian should love the Bible.
A good Christian should understand the Bible.
A good Christian should live the truths of the Bible.
These statements shaped my life and summed up my thoughts about God's Word eleven years ago. In my mind I was not a "good" Christian because none of these statements were true of me. Have you ever made such assumptions about yourself and your thoughts toward the Bible? Do you feel like you can't tell anyone for fear of being judged?
I felt the same way. I truly believed that since I had not attended, nor had any aspirations of ever attending seminary, I was automatically disqualified from understanding the Bible. Therefore, if I did not understand the Bible how could I discover its truths and apply them to my life?
I did not love the Bible. I carried it with me to church. I believed it to be the inerrant and infallible words of God. I also opened the Bible to look up verses so I could fill in the blanks for my Bible studies. However, there was not a desire on my part to know the Bible better. How could I attend church for 30 years, call myself a Christian, and not have a desire to read and know the Bible? What was wrong with me?
All this changed in 2006 when I decided I was going be a "good" Christian and read the entire Bible. With all the self-determination I could muster, I set out to spend the year reading the Bible. I was going to make myself love and understand God's Word so I could be a "good" Christian. What I learned in the first year of reading the Bible was amazing and life-changing. All my wrong assumptions were made right through the light and love of God and His Word.
Did I learn spiritual truths that I could apply to my life? Yes. Did I understand everything I read? No. I learned God's Word is full of rich life application written to produce God's best in my life, however I should not pressure myself to understand it all in one reading. God desires for me to continue to read His Word so He can reveal to me its meaning when He is ready to teach me.
My mind wanted my heart to love God's Word. So, did I fall deeply in love with God's Word the first time I read it? Not right away. If that shocks you, imagine how I felt. The question is better asked in this way: Did I fall deeply in love with wanting to know God and His Word more intimately? The answer is a resounding yes. The love for His Word has developed and deepened over the time that I have invested in reading and studying it.
Of all the lessons I learned the first year I read through the Bible, I suppose the most valuable was I do not want to be a "good" Christian. Gasp. No, I did not nor do I want to be a "good" Christian. Gasp again. The word good is defined as satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree. Never do I want to be satisfied with the quality and quantity of my life as Christian. Never do I want to be a "good" student of God's Word, one who is a satisfied with her quality and quantity of time in it. I have made a commitment to learn, live, and love God's Word by reading year after year until Jesus comes.
Would you like to join me in 2011?
Dear Lord, thank You for leaving Your Word for us to learn, live, and love. It is our guiding light in our dark world. Will You help to make a commitment to read Your Word daily? I don't want to be a "good" Christian. I want to be a Christian who is never satisfied in my relationship with You and my knowledge of Your powerful, life-changing Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Wendy's blog to find out how to be part of the amazing online study of Read testimonials of those who have been involved in this study for 2 years. And get to know Wendy face-to-face as you listen to her talk about how this specific Bible has changed her life and her love for God's Word.
Out of the Mouths of Babes by Wendy Pope
Pray about making the commitment to read though the Bible in a year. After God confirms your prayer, purchase from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Read Psalm 119.
What are my fears about reading through the Bible?
Am I satisfied with the quantity and quality of time with the Lord?
Psalm 119:32, "I will pursue your commands for you expand my understanding." (NLT)
Psalm 119:37, "Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your Word." (NLT)
Psalm 119:105, "Your Word is a lamp to guide me and light for my path." (NLT)
© 2010 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 27 October 2010.