An Artificial Bitterer
In the last blog I explained in our upcoming study guide for “The Cure” we devote considerable time to discovering how the same Scripture can be understood differently in the Room of Grace and the Room of Good Intentions. We describe it as a “filter” placed onto the unvarnished Word. While the words are agreed upon, our own shame and even unintentional attempts to get ourselves and others to do better, be better, has often distorted the meaning and intention of the verse. And then other teachers, writers, well-intended parents and preachers, using a similarly imposed filter, reinforce it. Gradually we discover we’ve imposed a man-made methodology and a presumed attitude and voice. Like an artificial bitterer in our sweet tea. None of it can be reconciled with the appeal to our new nature permeating the New Testament.
Last time we diagnosed what it might feel like reading Scripture when I allow myself to be deluded by a moralistic filter. Today, we thought it might be helpful to reflect upon a few experiences we might have when we read the Word without the filter.
When I read Scripture without the “filter”:
*I sense an invitation, not a condemnation
*I don’t feel the panic to fix something
*I find myself grateful that God loves me so much he doesn’t leave me alone in my issues
*I am drawn in adoration and trust of God
*I am not looking for what I should be ashamed of, but rather how He sees life
*I want to make myself totally open to receiving His love, His direction, correction, affirmation
*I find His Words to be protection, safety and strength to face everything around me
*I call out in dependence upon Him to accomplish what confronts my heart
*It draws me to allow others into what I am discovering, instead of hiding what it reveals
*I don’t beat myself up. I’m reminded I am right on time. He’s in absolute control of the timing
*I don’t make promises to God to be better.
*I hear His voice of acceptance, delight and enjoyment.
*The verses that frighten me, confuse me, or make me doubt my place, I grid through the prevailing, unqualified expression of His total acceptance, love and commitment
*I trust the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s insights to me. I relax in what I don’t yet understand
*I get almost lost in the delight and enjoyment of who He is.
*I don’t beat myself up for not having been here earlier. Instead, I know He’s delighted I’m here now. And I will not forfeit that experience.
*I find my thirst wonderfully grows in having my thirst slaked. Not exactly or predictably, but irretrievably I am drawn to coming back, not because I ought…but because I dearly want.
This is a scratch of the surface of the experience of reading His Word without the filter.
John-One of the three amigos, part of the ever-growing tribe of grace.