This week I was at church when the preacher told us a story about weddings, and how he has been in a lot of them. He said the primary advice for bridesmaids or groomsmen is to realize that the wedding isn’t about them. He then went on to compare how our me-centric view has distorted how we read the Bible.
For instance, at some point we have read the story of David and Goliath and aspired to have David’s positive characteristics. We feel our trials are representative of Goliath, and then we think something like, “If my faith was strong enough, I could tell people at work about Jesus”. The problem with this, is that as soon as I read the Bible this way – I’m left with the feeling that I have a lot of work to do and I have no method of really changing myself. My coworkers also think I’m strange that I bring rocks and sling shots with me to work and I’m frequently shocked that I can’t share who God is.
Now, if I read the same story with God as the Hero of the story, I see some interesting things about his nature. I see how God not only hand selected the youngest, weakest brother in the family of Jesse to become King David, but I see how God has consistently used outcasts, screwups, and Gentiles in the blood line leading to Jesus. It wasn’t a mistake or out of pity that he used Rahab the prostitute to help the spies conquer Canaan- he hand selected her to become the mother of Boaz, who married the barren widow Ruth (another outcast), who ended up being the great grandmother of David. Knowing all of this would help us be humbled to realize God has always extended himself to all people, showing his heart for those I work with.
How little do we sit down and truly view God as the hero of the story? I’ve found this week that I often rob myself of the joy in knowing who God is by constantly worrying about who I am and how God is changing me whenever I read scripture. God has gently shown me that I can’t be changed if I don’t simply know him and love him first.
I would challenge you to look at your relationship with God. How are you tempted to read scripture as a handbook or as a self-help book? How do you put yourself as the center, instead of letting God be the hero?
Additional Reading: I highly recommend spending some time in Ruth. It’s around 3-4 pages in length, but it’s a good book to begin reading God as the hero. It’s also quite easy to continue into 1 Samuel, learning more about David and God’s hand in raising him to lead Israel.