This morning I was thinking back to a Bible Study that I went to for a while in college. It was led by a young man who was obsessed with Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” He talked about this one verse at length for several different meetings, and despite liking him and being impressed by his charisma, it finally dawned on me that he was taking his interpretation and love of this one verse a bit far. I left the Bible Study not long after.

He was going the route of “anything you want will be given to you if your faith is strong enough.” That’s a very dangerous and selfish way to look at our relationship with and understanding of God. Someone who became obsessed with the idea that “I’m not getting what I want yet, because I haven’t proven my faith” might subject him or herself to mental and emotional, and maybe even physical torment to get on God’s good side. That’s not loving God; that’s manipulating God. You can’t limit the Creator of everything to a one verse understanding of His nature. So, ultimately I wish he had not focused so much on one verse. The same thing could happen with lots of verses. If I focused on Proverbs 27:14 too much I might never say “Good Morning!” again. We have to look at the whole picture. We have to think broadly and with a faithfully open mind. Thank you for reading my 81st blog.

Mark Inglis

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