What's the Best Way to Read Scripture? (Y1.T2.D41)
Unsplash; "drmakete lab"
Second Timothy 3:16 reminds us: "Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness."
Therefore, the best way to read the Bible is through the lens of self-examination.
This isn't easy because as humans, we are resistant to reproof or correction.
In fact, some of us find it very difficult to admit we are wrong or need to change. In those moments we believe we can maintain a positive self-image, when actually we are feeding our deep insecurity. According to licensed psychologist Guy Winch in a Psychology Today article titled, "Why Certain People Will Never Admit They Were Wrong" this is an ego issue:
Some people have such a fragile ego, such brittle self-esteem, such a weak "psychological constitution," that admitting they made a mistake or that they were wrong is fundamentally too threatening for their egos to tolerate. Accepting they were wrong, absorbing that reality, would be so psychologically shattering, their defense mechanisms do something remarkable to avoid doing so—they literally distort their perception of reality to make it (reality) less threatening. Their defense mechanisms protect their fragile ego by changing the very facts in their mind, so they are no longer wrong or culpable.
While I'm not someone who never admits I'm wrong, I can relate to moments in my life where I lied or exaggerated to defend my actions. And I have to confess, even as I write this sentence, I'm looking for a way to appear less than horrible.
The same is true when I read the Bible. At times, instead of introspection, I insert myself into the hero role and never the one guilty of bad behavior. That's why for today's passage, I decided to read the verses—especially the hard ones—and asked myself, "Do I do that? If so, how can I do better?"
Guess what? The exercise was both humbling and fulfilling. While I've never imagined myself as one of the farmers who killed the owner's servants (Mark 12:5), let alone his beloved son, I am.
[Jesus] was pierced for [my] transgressions.
He was crushed for [my] iniquities.
The punishment that brought [me] peace was on him;
and by his wounds [I am] healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Remembering this helps me be less judgmental. And surprisingly, accepting and admitting my flaws doesn't break my spirit but strengthens it. Peace and freedom thrive when I humbly bow at the foot of the Savior.
The best way to read Scripture is with an eye toward learning—accepting reproof and correction and allowing God's honest instruction in his righteousness.
I'm Not the Hero of This Story
36a Again, he sent other servants more than the first; (Matthew 21:36a)
5b and many others, beating some, and killing some. (Mark 12:5b)
36b and they treated them the same way. (Matthew 21:36b)
16b When they heard that, they said, “May that never be!” (Luke 20:16b)
43 “Therefore I tell you, God’s Kingdom will be taken away from you and will be given to a nation producing its fruit. (Matthew 21:43)
Reveal the moments I choose to point out the speck in the eyes of others rather than the beam in my own (Matthew 7:3). Thank You for the grace You've given me. Because of that grace, I should not think of myself more highly than I ought. I need to think reasonably, as You have apportioned to me a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Help me examine and test myself to make sure that as I walk in that faith I yield to You rather than be disqualified (2 Corinthians 13:5).
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