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I was cleaning my bedroom last week when this quote popped into my head. I had cleaned off my night stand, including my new(ish) journaling Bible that had been resting there. While I have been using it (more on this to come), it’s not falling apart by any means. It’s condition might even be called “pristine.”
But this quote swirled in my brain, chiding me, along with snippets of other quotes from well-meaning leaders about dusty Bibles on nightstands.
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
Around and around the words went.
The point being made is that a well-worn Bible = a lot of time in the Word and with God = a life that’s put together. Sure, there’s the caveat of usually. But how true is this, really?
My mind thought of David – you know, the guy who wrote a Psalm of 176 verses detailing how much time he spent in God’s law and how much he loved it… And how many times does he cry out as one despondent, hopeless, disquieted, and discouraged? How many times did he run for his life? How many times did he challenge God with a bold yet earnest, “Why, God, why?”
In reality, we live in a very broken world. Even on our best days, we really are falling apart. Time spent in God’s Word is no guarantee of a put-together life.
If anything, a worn Bible and time spent within its pages should only serve to remind us just how falling apart we really are without God and His grace. It should remind us that God came to seek and to save those who are falling apart – the leper, the prostitute, the prodigal, the outcast, the reject, the dirty, the disheveled, the unfaithful, the sinner.
So, sorry Spurgeon. I think you were wrong on this one.
Dear Christian, set aside the notion that sitting down with your Bible every morning or evening to check your “good little Christian” box is a guarantee of a put-together “good little Christian” life. Rather, come to God as you are – falling apart and desperately in need of HIS grace rather than your own self-righteousness.