11 March 2008

Not An Owner's Manual + Reason for Hope

A piece about the Bible from Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis:

I heard somebody recently refer to the Bible as "data." That person was in an intense discussion about what the Bible teaches about a certain issue and he disagreed with someone else so he said, "I don't see the data for your position."


The Bible is not pieces of information about God and Jesus and whatever else we take take and apply to situations as we would a cookbook or an instruction manual.

And while I'm at it, let's make a group decision to drop once and for all the Bible-as-owner's-manual metaphor. It's terrible. It really is.

When was the last time you read the owner's manual for your toaster? Do you find it remotely inspiring or meaningful?

You only refer to it when something's wrong with your toaster. You use it to fix the problem, and then you put it away.

We have to embrace the Bible as the wild, uncensored, passionate account it is of people experiencing the living God.
I really like that next-to-last paragraph there. The Bible isn't just a guide for fixing what's messed up in our lives. It's for all circumstances. It's the accounts of how real people encountered each other and God in real time. Wow.

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (emphasis mine)
Work tonight was better than I thought it'd be. It's all about the attitude. I was assigned to work dining room at Dashers. College kids are messy! Anyway, it was really slow starting off and there wasn't much to do -- I can't just stand around at work. I have to be constantly doing something. I was starting to hate it. I told Jeremy, "Is it bad that I really want to purposefully burn myself so I'll have to go home?" Things picked up and I figured out where everything was and as soon as it got busy, everything constantly needed refilled so I was happy being busy and always having something to do. I was still happy when I was relieved of my duties to go help clean the other dining rooms.

I try to watch my attitude at work. People are watching. Sometimes it can be very frustrating when other workers stand around and don't help clean tables. It didn't happen tonight, but sometimes it does. I found that cleaning tables (even if I'm doing it all by myself) is a perfect time to pray. Last week I had to pray about my attitude and working for the Lord so I didn't yell at somebody. :] (I don't think I would ever yell at somebody.) So, now I try to make it a habit. A lot of things at the Derb feel mind-numbing when it's slow (i.e.: Dashers in the a.m.); why not pray? The great the about talking with God is that you don't have to sit down and close your eyes and fold your hands to do it. He's always right here and present and he'll hear you over the noises in the kitchen.

There's a guy who worked tonight whose name is Dave and I think he is Korean. Since I've been at K-State, I've gotten better at being able to tell you if someone is from Japan, China, Vietnam, or Korea. I think Dave is from Korea. Anyway, he asked me why I smile so much. People at the Derb ask me this a lot, surprisingly. I hate my dumb answers but I still just said, "Because I'm happy!" Dave asked, "Are you a Christian?" "Yeah!" I said. Dave got it. But not everyone will look at me and know the reason for my joy. I want to be better at talking to people about how my life has changed because of my relationship with Christ. I'll be working on that.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect


menard said...

that is all too true.
and your example was graphic :p

Godbepraised said...

I am enjoying your thoughts. Thanks for the link. Keep feasting on Jesus, He is the feast of life :)

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