Can it Be a Good Thing for the Bible to Rub Us the Wrong Way?

One of my goals in writing this blog is to help us recognize realities in our lives that we neglect to praise God for.  We do a decent job of praising him for the things that we think will hurt most if we don’t have them; things like a house, food, transportation and health.  But if God is in the details, then we’re missing out on praising him for tons of things that are passing under the radar everyday.  One of those things is the fact that sometimes the Bible rubs us the wrong way.  I think you know what I mean.  We’ve all read through parts of the Bible and thought to ourselves, “Wow, I didn’t know that was in here…  can that be right?!  I don’t know what I think about that.”  These moments tend to scare us because our first reaction is to question something about God instead of wholeheartedly embrace it.  But what if we never had moments like these?  What if we never had these little crises of faith when reading parts of the Bible that seem too harsh to us?  I think, then, that the Bible would mirror our hearts too well.  Our hearts are sinful and deceitful and there are many times in a day when we love our sin and rebel against God, so if it was simple for us to embrace everything in the Bible, then the Bible would look less like it came from the heart of a holy and righteous God, and more like it came from the heart of wicked and selfish man.  If it was easy for me to accept everything in the Bible, then I would have doubts that the Bible was God’s Word because as God says through Isaiah, “…  as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (55:9).

For many people, when they don’t like something the Bible says, that is reason for them to discount Jesus and Christianity, but for us, it should be more reason for us to trust that God is truly the the one speaking to us through the pages of Scripture.  We know ourselves, we know the sick thoughts we think at times and the ways we royally mess things up for ourselves and others.  Do we really want the God we serve to be like that?  Now, I’m not saying that we should not work through our doubts and discomfort with some of the portions of Scripture that are difficult for us.  We should, but we should also let the reality of those difficulties move us to greater faith instead of unbelief.   Let us praise God that the Bible rubs us the wrong way sometimes because it shows us that it’s his book, not ours.  In this way, some of the biggest complaints about the Bible become a defense in our hearts for its authenticity.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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