Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kind of Like Peeling an Onion

What’s the most ignorant, foolish statement you've ever heard?

I’ve certainly said my share of stupid things, but my purpose isn’t to regale you with my own depth of ignorance. Listening to the average political debate, we are exposed to more foolish statements than we can count. Actually, some very ignorant declarations can be heard every day in those bastions of higher learning – our colleges and universities.

But the most ignorant statement I’ve ever heard was from a friend – not a follower of Christ – who asserted (more than once), “The Bible’s a good primer. But you read it once and then you move on to something more sophisticated.” When he told me that, and months later repeated it, my jaw thudded to the ground.

How do you respond to that? In my friend’s thinking, he perceives the Bible as an elementary reading book. Then you advance to something like Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

Not wanting to ridicule this friend (OK, I guess I do a little), you just don’t find anything more sophisticated than the Bible. Saying you should read it once, then move on is like removing an onion’s top layer, then discarding the rest of it. That doesn’t make sense.

I doubt my friend has ever read through the Bible even once. He might have glanced through some passages, or heard people talk about what it says, but really read the Bible? I don’t think so.

To me, the Bible is the manual for living – from God. Kinda like a manual for operating a car, except once you read the section on how to run the air conditioner you’ve pretty much got that figured out. Having read through the Scriptures more than a dozen times over the years, however, I’ve discovered when you think you have something about God figured out, there’s a lot more to learn if you’re willing to dig a little deeper – and deeper, and deeper.

The book of Proverbs alone has a wealth of knowledge for enhancing the life of anyone that reads it, just one chapter a day. Business and professional people participate in Bible studies for years with nothing but Proverbs as their subject matter. Wisdom, honesty, money, integrity, relationships, sex, communications, leadership, ethics, anger: They’re all there in abundance.

If you’ve read my blog more than once, you know I often refer to the Scriptures. I don’t do this to sound religious or pious, because I’m neither . Time and experience have simply taught me the Bible is relevant and practical for every conceivable area of life. And we’re poorer for it if we don’t consider its truths.

As it says of itself, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Being one of its “satisfied customers,” I wholeheartedly agree.

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