The Bible is Not a Motivational Book

anselm23 / / CC BY-NC-ND

I don’t read the Bible to feel good about myself.  I don’t read the Bible to be inspired to do great things.  We need to stop seeing the Bible purely as a source to feel good.  It’s a history book, people.  And for those expecting it to be a beautiful history where cats and dogs live together in harmony forever and ever, it’s not.  It’s crammed full of all of the crazy, evil, ignorant things people have done since the beginning of time.  Anyone who criticizes the Bible runs to these things and believes them as hardcore fact and points to them and says, “See, God is terrible.”

But as much as people love to run to the dirt and accept it as true, they refuse to run to the light and accept it as well.  Non-believers cherry-pick the Bible and call all the bad stuff “fact” and all the salvation stuff “fanstasy.”  And us good Christians call them out on it and stand up on our podiums and congratulate ourselves on our faith in the ENTIRE Bible.

Well I’m a believer and I don’t believe the entire Bible either.  For me, it’s something like, “Yahoo!  Christ died for me and I am special.”  And then, “Obedience to God’s word and faith without works is dead??  Well… you know it’s really just a book written by people and who knows if they had their head screwed on straight.”

So believers don’t really believe the entire Bible either, it turns out.  So I have a suggestion, or perhaps a challenge.  I’m not saying “never again”, but for a month, stop reading the Bible for comfort or inspiration and just read it for what it mainly is: A historical account of stuff that actually happened.  A text book.  And a text book that tells a shockingly compelling story about some amazing things our God and his Son have done over the years.  With a good bit of practical advice on how to experience that full history thrown in for good measure.

Let’s get the Bible out of the clouds and into our laps and realize that what we’re reading isn’t eloquent verse, it’s truth.  It’s basic things that happened and the fact that they happened can mean only one thing: There is a God.  He does amazing things in unexpected ways.  And he loves us.  A ton.  End of story.

This stuff really happened people.  Get your head around that.  I know my head is not entirely wrapped around that fact but I’m at least glad I’ve realized it needs to be.

Love you all.  Let’s have a conversation.  What’s the toughest part of the Bible for you to accept as actual fact?

We were built to be heroes.  It’s about time we started acting like heroes.


6 thoughts on “The Bible is Not a Motivational Book

  1. We have an advert here (when a bit of internal energy is required). It involves eating Weetabix. And you deffo had three today, baby! …. Will come back again when my brain has found a more intelligent response! 🙂


      • Came back looking for the conversations …. Your piece deserved them.
        So (in the style I am being shown by others) here goes nothin … Because your words caused all sorts of conflicting voices and thoughts within. From “how dare you” to “that’s a cool idea” and loads in between. There has been a settling and consensus in my heart. That to view the bible as any one thing – any nor label – any one category … Maybe doesn’t do the bible justice.
        Yes it is a historical record. Yes it is motivational. And so much more. It is a conversation piece between The Lord and me. Something to chew over together. Another way he can get through to my dull brain.
        Yet I am left that part of the bible is what we are not. We are not of that time. Not of that culture. Not of that moment. Not of that context. That without adding that to our reading, we are left with so little of what the bible offers. That Jesus walked knowingly into the perfect storm of global politics, national and tribal history, the prophecies, yearning and expectations. The clash of such powerful and opposing forces. The eye of the perfect storm.
        The bible is not a lot of things. But maybe it is best not to make it just one thing either.
        (And the first few lines have disappeared above the box. I hope this makes some kind of gentle contribution)


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