Have you ever heard anyone refer to the Bible as a rulebook? I read an article recently that gave some good perspective on this topic. If you think about it, we humans are made to interact and be in relationships. If you are in a relationship with a person who forces rules upon you, the outcome will be discontentment and stress. My relationship with my third grade teacher was that way. I tried so hard to reach the standard that was set before me but I could never hit the mark before more rules were cast upon me. Thus entered stress. Stress occurs in all relationships but if there is no love to balance out the stress it’s not pretty. I have made it past the stress of this third grade relationship but I will never forget the unpleasantness.
So, back to the Bible. We need to be able to relate to Scripture and this can be hard at times. It’s stressful when we learn the things we love in this world are not what the Lord loves. However, Jesus’ love can trump this stress. Thanks to Jesus and the relationship He offers us through the cross, we can experience complete forgiveness that never expires. We can embrace the fact that we are not perfect yet at the same time we can embrace the freedom to keep trying. Christ loves us completely, no strings or rules attached. This does more than balance the relationship, it drastically tilts the scale in our favor due to no action on our part. This article from Relevant Magazine puts it quite well, “The Bible isn’t about rules; it’s about Jesus. It’s designed to be used in the context of relationship. The goal in reading the Word shouldn’t be to get to a certain chapter, but to meet Jesus along the way.”
So much of life is in the motive. Why do we do the things we do? When we sit to read the Bible do we read so we can say we followed the rules? Or do we read scripture because we truly love Jesus and we want to be with him and know Him more intimately? The good news is every time we realize our motive behind a particular action is wrong we get to experience His forgiveness again.