If the Word contains the very words of God and has the power to transform our lives — why are we sometimes hesitant to receive it?
I believe there are many reasons. We may not believe that it offers us the guidance we need, so we don’t consult it. Another reason we may close ourselves off to it is because we are afraid of what the Word will reveal about us. In an effort to shield ourselves from uncomfortable revelation, we can neglect to read it or read it with a hardened heart where we don’t allow the Word to penetrate us or change anything about us.
Yet one more reason may be that we are intimidated by the Word and may think it is for pastors or other intellectual people — but not us. We may see the Bible as an old boring book that we will never understand. One last reason may be that are distracted or lazy. We don’t make the time for the Word because we allow other things to take up our time.
All of the above are mindsets the enemy uses to keep us away from the life-giving words of God. Though the Word of God can hurt at times, it does more than convict of sin. The Word of God also teaches us, encourages us, strengthens us, helps us stand up to the lies of the enemy, and reveals the character of God, among other things (Proverbs 2:1-8; Joshua 1:8-9; Romans 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 86:15).
Even when the Word convicts us, if we allow ourselves to accept what God points out to us and use the opportunity to repent, we can grow as Christians. God only points out that which is hindering us in our spiritual walk and seeks to cut away anything that is standing in the way of our growth. Unfortunately, good things sometimes hurt before they make us feel good. If we know that what God is showing us is for our good, we will continue to open ourselves up to it, even when it hurts.
Medicine, for instance, often has bad side effects or may sting when applied; yet, it can help to heal us and even save our lives. Years ago, I remember sitting at the pediatrician with my kids, and I watched as a little boy pleaded with the nurse “No shots!” on his way into the appointment. I have no idea why he was at the doctor’s, but he had learned that the doctor’s office administered painful shots. He had already started his campaign to “protect” himself before he even got in the doctor’s office!
In a similar way, we try to “protect” ourselves from the truths of the Bible, but we’re really not protecting ourselves. We’re cutting ourselves off from wisdom that will help us navigate life’s challenges, avoid bad decisions, and fight against the attacks of the enemy. While the Bible is not always comfortable to read, it is necessary to help us know how to live and transform us into the people we’re intended to be.