Note to my younger self: The Bible is Not About You

The Bible is not about you.

You’re confused for a reason. You were taught that the Bible is a mystical roadmap to life that you can approach without context. You were taught to just open the scriptures—

go ahead, any page—

and point to a verse and that verse will speak prophetically into your current day and life with encouragement or a lightning bolt prophetic word from God.

You were taught that this practice is optional. You were taught that you don’t have to read this collection of books—trust your gut instinct, or the preacher in the pulpit, let those things guide you (as if you—or that preacher—are truly good at your core…). Put the Bible under your pillow or just near your bed stand and let the Holy Spirit magically transfer the words from this historical document into your mind… this is how you were taught. This is what they said — churches, pulpits, mentors, leaders whispered… You have a legacy… go build it, and use scripture if desired.

Younger self—God is the Creator of context. He is the Author of order.

And, girl, you are confused for a reason.

When you randomly approach your Bible and open to a precatory Psalm and hope to gain understanding and encouragement from the verse 5 your finger just landed on, you are not only most certainly missing the point of this precious and valuable scripture, you are resolutely in grave danger of missing the clarity you are longing for about who He is and who you are in relationship to Him. Navigating God’s Word in this way will lead you down a landslide of false teachings and beliefs. It will lead you to confusion, hurt, and resentment. It will lead you to loneliness and idol worship. It will trick you into thinking this life is about you—and you will become completely caught up in recklessly trying to hold the pieces around you together. But, girl, I can give you some relief…

the Bible is not about you. You are not the center of this thing.

The Bible is about God.

The Bible is not even a book about historical heroes. Almost every character in the Bible that was chosen and used by God tanks miserably… like really, really bad. It’s another reason why you are so confused. You are not meant to read the Bible with the goal of being like Moses, or being like David, or being like Paul. These people are sinful, unholy, unruly humans like yourself. These are the least of all people — and God used them in their weakness to reveal more of His character and who He is to the world.

The Bible is about God.

Are you getting this?

Jesus is the only true hero of the Bible. God is the central character of the whole collection of works. To know who the God of the Bible is—to truly know who this God is that you long to know and serve—you have to understand this.

God is the only central character in these writings, just as He is the central character of your life. Whether you realize it or not—the Bible—and your life—is not about you. It’s about Him.

So go back— read again. Start from the beginning. Yes, actually read the Old Testament… and ask yourself this one question as you read:

What does this passage say about who God is?

Don’t skip around the hard stuff. Read Truth truthfully. Know who wrote it, who it was written to, what style it was written—God cares deeply about all of these details and this information is readily available to you.

I promise you this—when you begin to read the Bible in this way (the Bible… not commentaries, not books about the Bible… just the Bible) your mind will explode with clarity. False teachings will begin to shed off of you like snake skin and you will begin to see more clearly and love ever more deeply this incredible God of the Bible—God of all—full of everlasting love and compassion, who never left you even though you have greatly misunderstood and greatly misrepresented Him.

Go bravely and find Him in His Word — He is better than they led you to believe. This life is more than you can currently imagine. This is a God that you want at the center of everything.

-R

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