the bible open and sitting on a table

Every Word of the Bible is Good for Us

I remember one Christmas when I couldn’t find a bag of green candy.

It was our son’s favorite, so I naturally wanted to add it to his stocking.

My husband went out to try to find some but came home with a bag of assorted candies instead. I didn’t say anything. I accepted the bag, silently wondering what I was going to do with it.

I finally decided just to add it to my stocking since it wasn’t the right kind. 

Then I looked at the bag, really looked at it. Mixed in with a wide variety of pieces of candy were several pieces of our son’s favorite green kind. 

I made the best of the situation by opening the bag, emptying it all into a large bowl, and carefully picking out the green pieces to give to him.

Everyone was happy. I had a ton of candy that I liked, our son had his favorite green kind, and the few pieces none of us liked could just be tossed out. After all, we were only throwing away a couple of pieces out of an entire bag of candy.

Sometimes, as Christians, we see the Bible the same way I saw that bag of assorted candy.

There are words on those precious pages that we search for. When we need hope or encouragement, it’s easy to flip through the pages, looking for our favorite verses.

We find them, write them down, and read them over and over. They become part of us, helping us overcome whatever was causing us to feel hopeless or discouraged.

As we read, we find verses to help us live our life. We learn how to treat others, how to offer them the same hope and encouragement we have found.

We’re happy to take these words and use them to live our lives as followers of Jesus.

But then we find those verses that make us a little uncomfortable.

After all, it doesn’t exactly taste good to love our enemies.

The Bible doesn’t just tell us to love those who love us. It doesn’t instruct us to only do good to those who have done good to us. There is a reason we are given every word, not just the ones we want to read.

When people deliberately do things to us, things that are designed to hurt us, it’s a challenge to want to give them the same love we give to people who love us too.

Jesus addresses this for us in Matthew 5:43-44 when He tells us that “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

I don’t know about you, but when someone curses me or hates me or uses me or persecutes me, I’m not exactly in the mood to love them or bless them or do good to them or pray for them.

No, my first thought when all those kinds of bad things come my way is to wonder “Why me?” or to tell someone who does love me all about the bad person who is hurting my feelings.

Prayer isn’t exactly on my mind as I am sorting through my feelings, trying to find a way to feel better about the situation.

But God knows more than I do. He knows I can only have peace if I give away the same love He has given me.

He knows that, if I turn to Him in prayer, He can give me what I need to treat others the same way He treats me. 

He knows that it’s in my best interest to choose to apply every word of the Bible to my life. He knows that I’m making a mistake when I just pick out the verses that appeal to me.

My husband had to buy that entire bag of candy so we could pick out our son’s favorite pieces. A bag of just the green kind wasn’t in the store.

The Bible doesn’t just tell us to love those who love us. It doesn’t instruct us to only do good to those who have done good to us. There is a reason we are given every word, not just the ones we want to read.

No, God, the Author of the Bible, is very clear. As Christians, we’re responsible for all 66 books. We’re called to read and obey every single word, even the ones that don’t exactly taste good to us.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 34:8 to

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”

The Lord is the one who gave us every single word in the Bible. The Lord is telling us in Psalm 34:8 to trust Him, to trust that everything about Him will lead to blessings for us.

I know, at first, praying for someone who has persecuted us isn’t exactly pleasant. During our time in prayer, God will bring peace our way, helping us to see others the way He does.

When we choose to love and bless someone who has chosen to be our enemy, cursed us, persecuted us, or has used us, we are tasting the goodness of God.

As Christians, we are called to live our life like Jesus. 

How sweet our life will be if we spend time in God’s Word, applying it to our life, and sharing it with others the way Jesus wants us to.

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