Sometimes being told what to do makes me recoil. Apparently, the same is true for my son. He had been in a discussion with a seasoned Christian who was telling him how he had to read scripture. Scripture had become flat, two dimensional to him. It wasn’t helping him engage with Christ. He questioned why this was the only way to know Christ. He was becoming oppositional.
He began pushing back. He wanted to know why he couldn’t turn to other writings to help him understand scripture and God. He wanted to know why conversation, running, worship, music etc weren’t the “right” way for him to know God.
I knew exactly what he was feeling. I had been there myself. The more I was told I had to send half hour a day in prayer and reading scripture the less I wanted to do it. I, too, felt like I was a “less than” Christian for not following the rules. The more I felt the pressure the more oppositional I became and the more I pushed back against the rules.
My spiritual life has changed and grown over the years. It began with a mentor setting me free from the rules. He showed me that engaging with Christ is what mattered. How I chose to do this was up to me and God. He brought this scripture to life.
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG).
Scripture is a vital part of the Christian life and walk. It is meant to be engaged and brought to life and not flat, two dimensional words on paper. Thankfully, my son has someone similar in his life. This person said if reading scripture is forced not to do it but, instead, to engage with the stories, music etc that are strengthening his relationship with Christ and deepening his understanding of scripture. Yes, scripture.
It is possible to have our understanding of scripture deepened without directly reading it. There are a multitude of writings, books, teachers and music that help us see the fullness of Christ that are built on scripture, and in the end led us back to scripture. It was precisely those kinds of readings and teachings that lead me back to His word. Now, scripture has depth and richness when it didn’t before. Now, it’s not forced, but a natural part of my engagement in a relationship with Christ. A relationship that still doesn’t follow the rules.
How is your relationship with scripture? Do you feel oppositional to the rules? How are you strengthening your relationship with Christ? What practices help you grow and deepen your walk? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to other.