For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.Hebrews chapter 4, verse 12; from the New Living Translation (NLT)
As a noun, misuse means to use something (or someone for that matter) for other than its intended purpose. Forgive me if I rant a little this morning. But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. My wife, Debbie, is a Type 2 diabetic; which means it’s not bad enough for insulin shots, but she needs medication. From morning to morning her blood sugar had been really fluctuating. So her doctor added a weekly injectable called Mounjaro. Well, the insurance company decided it’s not in their “preferred medication list”. Bad news, right? But Ozempic is, good news right? Well, when her prescription was sent in, we found out it wasn’t available. WHAT??? It seems demand is higher than supply. But here’s what really grinds my gears! The reason isn’t because there are so many Type 2 diabetics; it’s because doctors have been handing out prescriptions for Ozempic for people wanting to loose weight like Chicklets! And thus, Type 2 diabetics like Debbie, for whom Ozempic and other medications were intended for, receive this health-restoring medication! Shame on those patients. And, in the words of Gomer Pyle, shame, shame, shame on the doctors who did this!
Enough of this rant and answer your question: What does all this have to do with the Kingdom Life? I love it when y’all ask this question. It’s not just prescriptions that are misused. Unfortunately there are those who misuse the Bible. And like this misuse of Ozempic, people who need the Bible, are unable to get to The Truth found only in The Bible. Here are some of the examples of misusing The Bible:
- Using The Bible as a sledge hammer! Yes, The Word is a Sword. But a sledge hammer? Gimme a break! Some use it to bully other people by pointing out what they are doing wrong. These people are always being mean towards us sinners, forgetting they are also inclined to sin as well. And people wrongly believe that God is mad at them. And those who need that light, believe that The Bible doesn’t have what they need. The Bible isn’t for beating people down. It’s for lifting people up!
- Taking passages out of their original contexts! Usually, this is done either to prove their point or to justify themselves. The only point that The Bible makes is that we are all sinners and need Jesus to transform us.
- Using The Bible as their last resort. For some, when all else fails, let’s see what The Bible has to say. Well, The Bible is meant to be where we first seek out wisdom.
- Picking and choosing! My progressive friends have taken this misuse and turned it into a fine art. The Bible isn’t a meat and three menu where we can choose what we like. It’s an all or none Book!
- Not reading The Bible. Now here’s THE Definitive Book on life and how to fully live. But so many simply don’t take the time to read it. They are content to let someone else read and explain it for them. But that’s not how it works!
- Not letting The Bible speak for itself. And perhaps, this is the greatest misuse of all. In the political arena it’s called putting a spin! It’s allowing what others say it says, even when they are wrong. Granted, not all Scriptures are easy to understand. That’s why it takes time and devotion to God to hear what the Bible really says. There is, in spite of what seminary professors teach, a profound simplicity in The Bible. We just need to listen.
So, how should we use The Bible? The way it is designed. To hear what God has to say. To accept it, all of it, as the only Truth. To understand our true purpose. To find the sin that is holding us back. To discover how to overcome sin and the problems it creates in us and against us. To uncover how to become the person God created you to become. To see how much God loves you. And to begin to experience the Wisdom of Eternity. The Bible is our Friend, if we let it. Just let The Bible BE The Bible, God’s love letter to each and every one of us! And if what The Bible says hurts, then know it’s because we need what God and God alone will provide us.