Let’s be honest, the bible is a hard book. There is so much in those pages. Everything from sex and violence to rules and regulations. If you spend any amount of time reading the bible you are bound to find something that makes you uncomfortable and maybe even mad. So what do we do when we don’t agree with what is being said in the bible?
If you spend any amount of time reading the bible you are bound to find something that makes you uncomfortable and maybe even mad
Here are a couple of thoughts for you to consider:
1. Recognize what you don’t like and why.
What is it about a particular passage that you don’t like? Is it an event that is harsh? Does it call something in your life a sin? Do you just not think that the world should work the way the passage is saying?
Whatever the reason you need to identify it so that you can honestly assess yourself and the passage.
2. Make sure you understand the context.
Context is King. If you take one passage out of context then you run the risk of misinterpreting the entire thing. Far too often people make a passage say what they want instead of allowing the passage to speak on it’s own.
So look at the entire passage. Read before and after the passage to make sure you understand the full context. Resist the temptation to take one or two verses and use them in a way they were never intended.
Resist the temptation to take one or two verses and use them in a way they were never intended.
Don’t forget to look at the historical context as well. Often times people will caught up in the brutality of the old testament but they forget what was happening during the entire time period of history. Often times when you look at the history you will have a much better understanding of what is happening and why.
3. Look for more on the topic.
One of the keys to interpreting the bible is to allow the bible to interpret itself. Perhaps a passage is very brief. Look for other passages that explain it a little better. It is amazing what you can find when you use scripture to interpret scripture. You might find that the passage is much easier to handle once you have other passages to help you explain it. Or maybe it will just make it that much more clear that the bible takes a firm stance on the subject and you need pay attention.
If you don’t know how to do this the best way is to the index on your bible or do a search on a bible website or app. Look up key words and then look the passages. Another way is to look for markings beside key words in the passages. Often times bibles will have related verses on the side or middle so that you can compare the passage.
4. Pray about it.
Seriously. Talk to God about it. Don’t hold back. if you don’t like what it is saying about a subject or passage then be honest about it. After all He already knows what you think about it.He isn’t going to mad at you. Allow him to show you what you need to see, and let the Holy Spirit work in you to see if God is showing you an area where you need to change.
This is probably the hardest part. Once you have looked at the passage and the context as well as other passages you should have a clear understanding of what the Bible is saying. So what happens if you still don’t like what it is saying?
Now is the time where you have to examine yourself. Be honest. Is the passage calling you out on something? Did it reveal a area of weakness in your life? Did it show you that you are committing a sin on a regular basis? Did it reveal something about you that you didn’t like?
Maybe the problem isn’t the Bible. Maybe it’s you.
Maybe the problem isn’t the Bible. Maybe it’s you. But don’t stop yet, keep going because this is where faith grows and you can grow closer to God.
6. Remember who God is
You have to remember who God is. The all powerful, never ending, all knowing, perfect, good, loving, creator God that scripture points us to. His ways are beyond our ways. We don’t always understand why He does what He does or says the things He says. After all when Job went to God and wanted to question him God responded by showing Job just how small he was in comparison to God. In the end Job never got an answer. So are you ok with that kind of a God? The kind of God that is beyond our understanding but calls us to trust Him completely? If not then you haven’t been serving Him anyway. You have been serving a version of yourself that you called God.
You have to remember who God is.
7. Make a decision
This is where the rubber meets the road. Are you going to trust and follow God? Or are you going to follow what you want? You have to make a decision. If you choose to follow God then you have to look at those passages that are difficult and accept them as both true and good even if you don’t fully understand. This means that you need to allow your actions to be shaped by what you have discovered in your study. Allow it to change you.
If you choose not to then I grieve for you. You are missing out on an incredible life that God intends for you.
in the end it is not wrong to question the Bible or even God. In fact it is a very healthy thing. And no it doesn’t make God mad. He would rather see you completely sold out or not at all. And asking tough questions is how most of us grow to love God more and be more dedicated to him.
Keep asking questions. Keep studying. And trust God. You won’t be disappointed.