Sanitizing the Bible and our lives [Time Out]

Topic / Time Out

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Adam Wormann)

I love how we sanitize Bible stories, most often for kids, but even for grown-ups. We don’t like to talk about how Ehud literally stabbed the poop out of Eglon, how Elijah sicked a couple of bears on kids making fun of him, the violent death caused by the flood, etc. We make happy flannelgraph versions and promote that. Jonah’s not just the story of the guy that gets swallowed by the fish, but the guy who goes to one of the most violent civilizations in history, tells them to repent, then gets ticked when God is merciful. Not quite the way it sounds in 2nd grade.

I get why we do that with kids, but for some reason it still kind of bothers me, especially with adults. I don’t like to sanitize things. Then I realize, I do it, too.

Have you ever thought about the way we pray when we confess to God (if we honestly do at all)? Usually it’s pretty vague. Kinda sad, probably not very helpful. When I’m honest, I sanitize my confession. Maybe because it hurts more when I’m honest about it, maybe because I feel like I’m not as bad if I don’t say it and rationalize it. This is probably a much worse sanitization.

Think about it, the Bible uses the marriage relationship as a metaphor for our relationship with Christ all over the place. If I screwed up and apologized to my wife the same way I do to God, what would my relationship look like? I’m not saying that God won’t forgive us and that we’re then hell-bound, but there’s still a rift in the relationship that’s never really patched up, and that’s no good.

Our problem likely isn’t knowledge, it’s about action. It normally is. We probably don’t need to list questions either. Just search your heart. Is there something that needs unsanitized confession? Go ahead, do it now.

Posted on August 15, 2011

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