Like many good Christians, I try to start my morning with a cup of coffee and scripture. Opening my Bible, I often linger in shorter portions of the Word for weeks at a time. Slowly, I read and reread the verses to allow it to soak into my soul. My competitive, read-as-much-as-I-can nature fights the slow reading of scripture, but it is vital for me to go at a turtle’s pace. I hear and see much better when I linger long in books, chapters and verses of the Bible.
Each morning, scripture is my dose of encouragement and rebuke. As much as scripture can bring hope and encouragement, it also makes me feel bad about myself. And it should.
I desperately need the instructions and the strong teachings the Word provides.
Honestly, I am more like a pharisee than I would care to admit. I, too, can behave just as foolishly as many people in the Old Testament and the New. I am closer than I realize to the ugliness of the stories of sinners who veered from God’s plans and impulsively responded in regretful ways. Thankfully, my embarrassing mistakes and sins will not be on public display for centuries to come in the most sold book in history.
The Bible makes me feel bad about myself and it is good. It reveals how I need a savior, how I can’t survive without dependence on God. The Bible shows me where my identity is still in the wrong things (performance, approval, etc.) and not in Christ.
Without hearing and reading scripture, I think I am much better than I am. I misrepresent Christ in ways that hurt those around me and distort the beauty and hope of the Good News. When I open my Bible and allow the words to shine a light on the ugly in me, God changes me.
The Bible makes me feel bad about myself and I’m so glad it does.