Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)
Let’s Talk About Sex…
Years ago my husband and I were sexual addiction mentors.
Not necessarily something you like to mention when you first meet someone… “Hey, what do you do? Oh, I help people who can’t stay away from deviant porn. What about you?” (That’s a whole other can of worms.)
Anyway, one recurrent problem my husband saw in his mentoring was with people who were very Biblically literate. These men would have spiritual sounding arguments for why they didn’t really need complete freedom:
*”My wife isn’t doing her part…” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
*”It’s not the same as the Biblical sin of adultery.” True.
*”God’s grace covers all our sin, so what I am doing is covered.” True.
*”If I confess this sin to anyone for accountability, I will lose my pastorate. Church people don’t overlook this sin.” Sad and True.
*”The word “pornography” isn’t in the Bible.” True.
*”It not a problem, because it’s no longer something I do all the time. Like Paul said, ‘Anything is permissible for me.’ (1 Corinthians 10:23)
These men were full of Biblical knowledge. Some of them went to seminary and knew Greek. Some of them could win an Evolution vs. Creation debate or win an old fashioned Bible sword drill.
These men were also not looking to Christ as a source of power to live; they were looking to the Bible for excuses to sin.
This example may seem a little extreme, but in a broader sense Biblical knowledge is a precarious thing. The longer we are Christians the more we learn. We learn the Christian culture. We know answers to the trivia. We read the Scripture, are involved in church activities and small group and absorb much. We listen to radio preaching and memorize verses. We can become top-heavy… spiritual experts and failures at living.
3 Reasons Why Living is Harder Than Studying
1. You Can Make the Bible Say Anything!
If you are looking to prove a point or justify a sin, you can find verse or religious book that will help you do that. (Just check out the video below!) Looking at the whole of Scripture and doing the work of submitting ourselves to it is much more difficult. It requires change.
2. The To-Do List
So, every good Christian knows you’re supposed to wake up in the morning and do what? That’s right… pray and read the Bible. No pastor says, “Okay tomorrow morning, close that Bible already and live out the faith you’ve professed for the last 10 years. I don’t really know what that looks like for you… Good luck!” The spiritual health inventory always includes, “Have you been praying and reading your Bible daily?” These things can be done regularly and yet remain fully separate from the rest of life. The easy Christian life calls for to-do lists. The open ended God Send Me life looks to apply what it already knows God is saying. Read, then apply. Apply, then read.
3. If I Only Knew More, Then I Would…
The more we read, the more we realize we don’t know. We can study the commentaries and read the top Christian Living books and come to the sad (and wrong!) conclusion that if we only knew more then we would be ready for life.
By *life* I mean:
*Share our faith
*Let go of something
*Parent with grace
*Live humbly with my spouse
*Be in the world and not of it
*Give God our time, talent and treasure
*Surrender a sin
Certainly the Bible is unique in its ability to teach us something new every time we read it and it is good to always keep growing. But needing to know more should not keep us from taking one step now. Just one step. Apply that one step and don’t be paralyzed by fear of failure. If you have ever heard a sermon, if you have ever read the Bible, if you have ever prayed… there is something God has pressed on you. God doesn’t say we have to be experts, just be obedient by starting somewhere.
So what’s on your mind? How have you been recently challenged to live instead of just read?