Some months back, I got talking with an old schoolmate who had been a firebrand brother while we were in the University. Back then, he was head of the drama unit in our fellowship, but I noticed overtime that he had sort of gone lukewarm and had become a different person. In the course of our discussion, my once-upon-a-time zealous brother in Christ admitted that he had changed, he no longer viewed Christianity the way he did in the past and he now regards the bible as just one other self-help book! His disclosure shocked and saddened me at the same time. His new perspective got me thinking: How many professing Christians actually have this same mind-set my friend has? How does the average Christian of today perceive the word of God? Most importantly, how do you perceive God’s word?
A SELF-HELP BOOK?
The world is always trying to make God one of many options… dispensable options for that matter. Little wonder then that His word (the Bible) is also regarded as yet another tips and tricks book, with counsel that can be reckoned with every now and then when we feel we need it.
Sadly, this same mind-set has crept into the Church. Just as you do not have to adhere strictly to everything spelt out in a self-help book, some Christians today believe the bible is a book of suggestions and advice that may or may not be taken seriously. So these days we have Christians who do not only see nothing wrong with pre-marital sex, but they also indulge in it. That is just one example out of many. Once again I ask: how do you see the word of God? As a self-help book? I hope not!
ANOTHER PHILOSOPHICAL TEXT?
Have you met people who are reluctant to identify with Christianity, but are quick to quote a psalm, a proverb, or another popular verse of scripture to buttress their points? I have come across quite a number of such people. They acknowledge the wisdom loaded in some bible verses, but they do not agree that the book itself is a divine manual every human ought to live by. For this category of people (some Christians are in this category), the bible is just another philosophical script.
THE SCRIPT FOR OUR LIVES!
The word of God is more than a self-help guide. It is not in the class of any philosophy book on earth. It is what it is: the word of God; the divine script we are to live our daily lives by. It is unfortunate many in the Church no longer view it as the ultimate authority they are to submit to. Thus we have Christians living like worldlings, committing unimaginable atrocities and living on a pedestal lower than that meant for God’s children.
I encourage you today to ask God for brand new lenses through which you will begin to see His word. Take every line of scripture as the mind of God being revealed to man. The Bible is not a book of mere suggestions or good counsel. It is a divine map designed to keep us in the centre of God’s will and in the hollow of his hands where no evil can overcome us. Henceforth, let us resolve to reckon with it as it really is, so that the power it carries may find expression in our everyday lives!