Monday, June 15, 2009

The Whole Counsel or Biblically Selective?

A few months ago our five- and seven-year-old boys were having some quiet reading time. This usually proves a good way for them to do their own thing for a few minutes, especially when they've been getting on each other's nerves. That particular day, Nate, had chosen to read his children's Bible. Will and I were in the kitchen talking and making dinner, and the boys were around the corner, allegedly reading on the couch. After a few minutes we heard some commotion, and then big brother yelled out with indignation, "oww, that hurt!"

"What's the problem, guys?" Will called.

"Nate punched me," came the answer. When we called Nate into the kitchen and asked what had happened, he said, "I was reading my Bible, and he was aggravating me so I punched him."

"Wait a minute," Will said. "You were reading your Bible and you punched your brother? Nate, what do you think the Bible would say about that?"

"I know what it says," Nate answered. "But I wasn't reading that part."

Disturbing and hilarious! Yet I think sometimes we do exactly the same thing, and it's not quite so funny in adults. We don't say, "well, I wasn't reading that part," but we willingly ignore truths and commands we find harsh or inconvenient. We are biblically selective, applying parts we like, ignoring what we don't like. But the Bible isn't a spiritual market, where you pick over the produce you believe will be helpful. No, Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16 that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." That means there are lessons throughout, from Genesis to Revelation. Sometimes we steer ourselves back to the same verses over and over again, and that's wonderful so long as we are looking at the big picture too.

And that's what I really need to resolve to do. I need to locate my One Year Bible and jump right in.

How are you doing? Are you being biblically selective? Or is your life informed and lived according to the whole counsel of God? This isn't a week long thing, it is a lifetime thing, but what a great time to rethink habits. I have a little more time than I did a week ago, and my goal is to use it wisely.

Happy Summer and may your life, and mine, increasingly reflect the whole counsel of God.


Jordan McCollum said...

That is hilarious! What a great way to use a teaching moment.

(Here from Rachelle Gardner's blog party)

LoLo said...

How perfectly you captured the "quiet" reading moment! I felt like I was there. That hilarious little sweetheart! Sadly, I can relate only too well to "not reading that part".