Friday, November 11, 2011

Reading the Bible - Breaking down my own resistence

For a long time I resisted the Bible. I saw it used so often as a weapon to hate and to discriminate against others. It seemed to me that so many who based their faith only on the bible, lost the compassion that God fills in your heart when you experience Him through the holy spirit. These "Bible-Based Faither's"(as I had labeled them), were often too uptight for me.  As far as I could see, many of them were not able to see past the rules and regulations laid out in the Bible, and simply love their neighbor.  I felt strongly that knowing God through prayer and life experience was much more well suited for me,and much more powerful. I had no desire to read the Bible what-so-ever. To me, experience with God was what was most important to me. I could not stand it when people threw Bible verses at me to prove a point or show how close they were to God. 

My husbands faith was exactly the kind of faith I am talking about. He learned much of what he knows about God by reading the Bible, and like so many others, grew close to God through his time spent in the Word. But I knew my husband was a God-loving man, and respected his faith so much. His faith  wasn't what I expected a Bible-based faith to be like. He wasn't hateful, and didn't use it to discriminate. Yes, he could be up tight, but I started to slowly realize that he actually had an amazing and respectable sense of right and wrong, and usually once he explained things, I saw myself agreeing with him where I thought I disagreed. Are you following still? 

Needless to say this was a huge struggle for me in the early days of our relationship. I was always yearning to hear of his experience with God, the individual experiences he had by spending time with God, and he always had bible verses to tell me about. I got so frustrated by this! I wanted holy-spirit divine intervention stories, the kind that set my faith on fire.  I kept saying "NO, how does God speak to YOU?" And he kept saying through His word. I just didn't get it.

Finally, I decided to try to understand what he was saying. 

After much encouragement from my husband, and a lot of self-work, I have decided to start reading the Bible. I fought long and hard to avoid it, and have realized my resistance was out of fear. Fear that my faith would be de-valued, or turned on it's head if I actually knew what the Bible said. 

A big theme in the past 2 or so years of my life has been facing my biggest fears; Getting married (not that I got married out of fear, but had I given in to my fears I know I would not have gotten married), having a child was definitely one (also a fear I fought and conquered), cutting my hair was a huge fear, having a second child also a fear but not as big since I have one already and see how great a blessing she is! But I have chosen not to let my fears conquer my desire. All of these fears were out of fear of failure, or lack-of-faith in something completly natural and God-given. They were the kinds of fears that tell you you will be a failure in some way shape or form, if you try to even attempt them. And that is not the kind of fear that protects you (like a fear of venomous snakes, or strange men in dark alleys). It's the kind of fear that destroys you and limits you from reaching your full potential. SO what I am trying to say, is my next conquest with conquering my fears is reading the Bible for myself. Having seen it used as a weapon so often, and having been so angry and so afraid of it in the past is no longer going to stop me from discovering it's divine wisdom for myself. No more. I have begun to read for myself. 

 I began with the new testament to know exactly what Jesus actually said. But as I began with this, I realized I don't know the history, the context of what Jesus was talking about it so rooted in the Old Testament. So, I have decided I am going to read through the Old Testament. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. I will label the post with the book out of which the ideas, thoughts and questions spring. I hope you share with me too.

On that note, what do you think about the Bible? Have you feared it? Or has it been your refuge?

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