I find it hard to read the Bible.
Often I find myself asking, is this true? So much of it is counterintuitive and mysterious. Did Jesus really mean what He said? If so, why does the radical nature of His word seem to be lost? And is there really a need to search for God’s will? Isn’t it right there in print? Sometimes in red; sometimes in Font Size 24. The point: He has spoken. Yet, do I consider Jesus’ emphasis on things like love, forgiveness, and peace as a nice, but unrealistic, ideal?
My Navigators small group leader in college used to say to me, “Jill, if you don’t like it, just cut it out.” His words were prompted by my objections of Scripture that I didn’t like, verses that puzzled me, or honesty that rattled my soul. Therefore, after saying this to me, he would hand his pocket knife to me to cut out those verses. Of course, he was not serious, but his meaning absolutely was. Because I was inquisitive and ambitious for biblical, uncommon sense, I left bible study with that knife almost weekly.
For my college graduation, he gave me my own pocket knife. And for the last 2 months, while investigating lots of doctrine for my Statement of Faith, that knife was close at hand.