Disclaimer: This post will be about the Bible. Earlier this year, I started reading the Bible daily, and I want to start sharing some of my thoughts and takeaways here each Saturday. If this isn’t a topic you are interested in, I understand completely, and hope to see you back here on Monday when Monday’s Marketing Minute returns. If you do enjoy this post, I will be covering similar topics every Saturday from now on. Thanks for reading!
So, now that the fine print is out of the way: In January I made a decision to start reading the Bible every day. I had never read the Bible cover to cover, I’d read bits and pieces over the years, often during my sporadic church attendance, but there were many books that I had never even touched.
So I decided to remedy that in January. I started out by reading Genesis, then immediately went to Revelation (which was probably not a smart idea). I then went back and read Exodus, then moved to the New Testament and read it all the way through. I’ve just restarted reading Genesis again for the 2nd time.
I had some pretty big misconceptions about what the Bible is about. If you haven’t read the Bible before, I don’t want to do spoilers, but it’s an amazing account of the entire world. I was expecting to be all but lectured to, and shown how far from the ideal Christian I fall. I assumed the Bible was basically a collection of case studies of the most amazing Christians who lived nearly sin-free lives, and that would be the ideal that I was expected to shoot for.
I could not have been more wrong. The Bible does indeed profile many of the Kings, Prophets and leaders that shaped Christianity. It does indeed give you Christian ideals to strive for. But the Bible makes it very clear that these leaders of Christianity are also VERY human and as such, they are VERY flawed. I was honestly stunned at some of the sinful behavior that these pillars of the Christian religion engaged in. But these people also did amazing things for their God. The overarching theme of the Bible seems to be that God will forgive those that come to Him and accept Him and ask for forgiveness for their sins.
If you have put off reading the Bible because you are afraid that you will learn how ‘bad’ or sinful you are in comparison to ‘good’ Christians, let me just say that you may have some of the same misconceptions about the Bible that I did. If you decide to read the Bible, I think you will be as pleasantly surprised as I have been so far.
Now, let me turn to what I want to talk about today. One of the themes that the Bible keeps hitting on is the need for all Christians to have faith in God. First in the Old Testament the need to act in faith was emphasized. Then when I started reading the New Testament, Jesus constantly taught His followers to act in faith. People would constantly come to Jesus and ask Him to heal them, to remove their afflictions. He would ask them if they had faith that He could do this, and when they said they believed, He would heal them. In one story, a Roman soldier came to Jesus and asked Him to heal someone. Jesus told the soldier to lead Him to this person. The soldier told Jesus that it wasn’t necessary for Him to follow the soldier home, Jesus could heal the person by simply wishing it into existence. Jesus marveled at the soldier’s faith, and told him to go home, that his companion had been healed.
Now as I was reading the Bible and saw how this point of having faith was repeated over and over again, a thought occurred to me. I thought, I can see how a cynic could read this and think “Well this is pretty self-serving, isn’t it? Of course God wants us to be faithful to Him! This is just God wanting people to worship Him for His glory!”
Which, of course, is correct. But that’s not the only reason why God stresses the need for faith. In fact, I don’t think it’s even the main reason why.
As I read on in the New Testament, I came to Christ’s famous Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus talks about why we should not worry:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
I love these verses so much! And chapter 6 of Matthew closes with verse 34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
And as I was mentally digesting these verses I began to see the connection between faith and worry. At that moment, the following thought popped into my head: “Worry and faith cannot exist in the same space.”
And there it was! God stresses faith from us because our faith destroys worry! Think of the damage that we do to ourselves by worrying about our lives. About our job, or family, or possessions. We worry about something that MIGHT happen. Or that might NOT happen.
How much of it is necessary? Is ANY of this worry necessary?
Worry is the fear and dread of something that MIGHT happen. Faith is the belief that something WILL happen.
God tells us to avoid worry because He wants us to put our trust in Him to provide for us, but also because He knows the damage that worry causes us. He doesn’t want that for us.
As I’ve been reading the Bible, there have been numerous ‘lightbulb’ moments for me, but this was one of the biggest and I just had to share it with you. It totally helps me reframe how I view faith and why I need to eliminate worry. It’s why I wrote ‘Faith is a thief’ as the title of this post. Faith steals your ability to worry!
If you want to start reading the Bible, here’s a fantastic reference I have been using that I think you will enjoy. The Bible Project has created animated videos that explain every book of the Bible, Old and New Testament. Each video is around 8-10 minutes, so they are really short. I like to watch the video for a book, then read the book. Watching the video first really helps me get a sense of what the book is about, and it makes it much easier to read. Here’s their video for Genesis. These are so good I binge-watched the entire Old Testament in just a couple of days! I hope you will enjoy them as well.
Thanks for reading, if you enjoy this post, I will be sharing more of my thoughts on the Bible every Saturday. Have a wonderful weekend!